Monday, April 15, 2024

Just About Ready to Go! 4/15/24

 Good Morning My Friends!

How are you and how was your weekend?  Mine was lovely - filled with family, good food, a bunch of chores, but also time to relax.

Saturday morning found me scrubbing bathrooms and washing bath mats and towels.  Just as I finished that, our neighbor Rob came over with home made Focaccia that he had made using his sour dough starter.  Little cherry tomatoes and Kalamata olives on top with tons of herbs - oh my!  A little touch of heaven.

Later in the day Colin was over helping Fletch with some garden stuff.  Mailing showed up a bit later and we ordered out delicious Indian food from a place one of Colin's co-workers had recommended.  So much food.  And so good!  We will definitely order again.

While the boys were working in the garden and before Mailing came over, I found time to finish my latest stitched piece:  Sew Red by IStich.


Stitched on 40 count Woodsmoke linen using one strand of silk thread (Old Maid of the Heart from Vicki Clayton) over two threads.  I'm pleased with the way it turned out.  I think my next piece will be a Quaker style one in yet again a single color.  This is so unlike me!!

Sunday was a day for more chores (that damn kitchen floor is finally clean), laundry and packing.  Tomorrow I fly to NC for a nice visit with my friend Leslie.  I'm the person who can usually be found packing at midnight before an early morning flight.  I don't know what's gotten into me but I'm all packed already (shorts and tees and flip flops mostly - it should be in the 80's while I am there!!).

There was also a bit of time in the afternoon for wandering around the yard.  Our Red Bud has opened!


And our Asian Pear is looking VERY healthy.  I wonder when we will get fruit?  Last year we were worried that it would survive (and it's in a cage because of deer).


And last, but not least, the first apple blossoms have opened!!


Seen, but not photographed:  asparagus is up!  And the rhubarb leaves are already getting to be platter sized.  LOL

It is also definitely tick season - Fletch found one crawling on his leg the other day.  Yuck.  Last night we managed to capture Mabel and get her treated...hopefully it will work.  Speaking of the darling here she is yesterday afternoon while Fletch and I were sitting on the patio.


I know it's the say she is sitting and has positioned her legs, but she is looking a bit widette!!  (Does anyone else remember The Widettes on SNL?  It was around the same time as the Cone Heads.  LOL)

OK, I'm dropping off library books this morning - giving up on The Fox Wife.  I thought I would love it, but I kept falling asleep while reading it.  Despite having read around 100 pages, I can't remember a thing about it.  The book I will take with me is The Seed Keeper which I am loving (and the cover of the paperback is wonderful).  I think that Jane recommended this book.  I will also pick up a few groceries for Fletch to have on hand while I'm away.  

Wishing everyone a wonderful week and I'll see you back here next week!

Friday, April 12, 2024

Another Week


 

Good Morning my Friends!

Well, it was kind of a wild night - strong winds and heavy rains woke me early.  Luckily I managed to get back to sleep.  I'm happy to be heading into weekend mode.

Yesterday Dee and I got together at Manhattan Bagel for a morning of catching up, sipping coffee and doing a little knitting.  Always a pleasant time.

Wednesday found me taking care of things.  My annual mammogram was at 8:45 a.m.  I'm always on edge before a mammogram - my Mom had breast cancer and my (paternal) grandfather had breast cancer in the 40's.  Weird to hear of a guy having breast cancer.  Both survived, but those two cases, of course, elevate my chances.  Right after the mammogram I had a CT lung scan.  Another thing to have me on edge.  I smoked for decades (since my teens) and only stopped in the last 5-6 years (I can never remember which year).  Because of that, my primary care physician suggested I have a lung scan.  I'm happy to report that both tests had good results.  Amazingly, I had the mammogram results on line within 3 hours of the test!  I had to wait over 24 hours for the lung scan results.  But, the important thing is that all is ok.

Next on the list is an audiologist appointment, but I will wait to make that for a couple of weeks.  By the time I'm finished with that, it will probably be time to start all over again with blood work, eye exam, etc., etc.  Good thing I am no longer working!!  LOL

Wednesday afternoon I had an appointment regarding finances...I want to get my 401K rolled over and there were other things to talk about.  Again all is good and I have another meeting with him at the end of the month.

Meanwhile, I'm starting to prep for leaving town again!!  Without Fletch!!!  Next Tuesday I am flying to NC to visit my best friend for the past 58 years - Leslie.  And, my senior year in college I roomed with Nina.  She and I also shared some apartments after college.  I have not seen Nina in close to 30 years, BUT, she is driving up to Leslie's from where she lives in SC on Friday and will spend the night.  Can't wait to see them both.  

I have gifts to wrap before I go and I need to dig out some summer clothes - it is forecast to be in the 80's when I land in NC on Tuesday!  Naturally I want to clean the bathrooms and do some laundry before I take off and I'll pick up some food so that Fletch does not need to run to the store.

Colin will be over Saturday afternoon to help Fletch with some garden stuff.  I've suggested that Mailing come over too and we can all go out to dinner...still waiting to hear back from the kids on that idea.

Whatever your plans are for the weekend, I hope you make room for some fun.  Enjoy!!

Wednesday, April 10, 2024

Unraveled Wednesday 4/10/24

 Good Morning All,

Yesterday was an absolutely stellar day weather-wise.  It was in the low 70's with plenty of sunshine until late afternoon when the clouds rolled in.  I think we are due for a couple of days of rain now.  But, it sure was nice while it lasted!

It's Wednesday which means time to link up with Kat and her Merry Band of Unravelers to talk about making and reading.  Not much on either of those fronts was accomplished while we were away.  In the great words of Zhongren, there were to many other "funs."

I did manage to start a sock before we left and that was the only project I took with me.  I managed to knit little bit in the early morning hours.


The 2x2 ribbed cuff is in Wildfoote by Brown Sheep Company.  It is very rustic feeling.  The color way is Goldenrod.  The body is in Backyard Fiberwords which is lovely to knit with and the color is Peat.  I've incorporated a herringbone pattern between some rows of purls.  I made Fletch some socks like this years ago and they have held up well.  The combination of the two yarns is appealing to me.  My guess is that this is the same project I will be taking next week when I fly down to NC to visit my friend Leslie.  That will be another trip with little making accomplished!  LOL

Before we left, I did finish "How to Say Babylon."  A pretty compelling read...not very happy.  It has been likened to "Educated" which I did not like at all.  Babylon is better and much more believable (personal opinion).  The book I took with me last weekend is The Fox Wife but I only managed to read 20 or so pages (too many funs).  I've read a little more, but not much.  It is kind of a strange tale, but so far I am liking it.

Today is a busy day.  I've some medical stuff this a.m. including my annual mammogram and then another appointment this afternoon.  I need to remember to book my rides to and from the airport for next week.  The laundry is all caught up for the moment which is a good thing.

Have a great Wednesday and be sure to check out Kat's blog to see what everyone is making and reading.

Tuesday, April 9, 2024

Back Home Again 4/9/24

 Hello, Hello!

How are you?  I am doing well.  We are back home again after our weekend get-away with Colin & Mailing and Bonnie & Zhongren.  What a nice time.  We did find out late Thursday that the original house Mailing had booked in Forestburgh, NY had cancelled our reservation!  The storms Wednesday knocked out the power to the house and they were not sure it would be back on by Friday afternoon when we were due to arrive.  Fortunately, AirBnB worked with Mailing to locate another available place.  THIS is where we ended up for the weekend.  A lovely place in Athens, NY (quite a bit further than the original plan - we were just South of Albany, NY).

We drove up with C&M; B&Z Drove separately.  Traffic was a little heavy on the NY Thruway - lots and lots of folks heading North for the Eclipse.  It was a bit damp and grey when we arrived.  C&M cooked dinner the first night - bangers and mash which was delicious.  Colin grilled both bratwurst and andouille sausage; Mailing made the mashed potatoes, peas and green beans.  That first night we opted for a fire inside.


Saturday was still very overcast and pretty chilly.  But after a leisurely (lazy) morning, we drove into town to a nature preserve for a walk.  However it was way too muddy and chilly to be enjoyable, so we continued on into Hudson, NY and went to The Spotty Dog - what a neat place.  Lots of books, great beer and even art supplies in the upper level.  So many of you would have loved this place!

B&Z were on kitchen duty that night and we made dumplings (so many dumplings)!


We also had some Chinese cauliflower and a salad with cucumbers, black mushrooms and rice noodles.  Everything was so good!  Even though everything was still wet and damp outside, C&M managed to get a fire going in the fire pit and we sat out there for a little while before the hot tub was put to good use.


Sunday was another quiet morning.  The sun was shining brightly, so again we headed out after lunch.  We visited the Thomas Cole National Historic Site and walked around the grounds.  Then we decided to go back into Hudson to explore the town a bit.  For those of you familiar (Bonny & Dee), Hudson is like New Hope was a few decades ago - lots of antique shops, art galleries and fun stores.  My favorite sign spotted on a lamppost:


Sunday night was our night to cook, so we made BBQ Shrimp (New Orleans style) and had Italian bread and a big salad to go with it.  I was stuffed!!


We had another big fire outside and enjoyed sitting around and talking.  Monday we got up and left by 9 a.m.  C&M and we stopped in New Hope for a wonderful lunch (warm enough that we sat outside!!).  We were back at our home in time for the eclipse, but even though we were in the 90% totality spot, it did not really get all that dark.

Mabel survived our going away.  Rob and Eva (neighbors) came over to feed her and let her in and out.  At one point Eva texted me a picture of Mabel and a bag of treats that had been clawed open!!  And when we walked in, we saw that Mabel had apparently been working hard to unroll ALL the paper towels!


Today is all about replenishing food, doing some laundry and general catching up.  I didn't read blogs while I was gone, so I will attempt to catch up on those as well.  I hope you are all doing well!

Wednesday, April 3, 2024

Unraveled Wednesday 4/3/24

 Good Morning All,

Welcome to soggy Eastern PA.  Oh my!  The rains just keep coming and coming.  All day yesterday and it looks like more of the same for today.  I woke at 4 a.m. (again) to very heavy rain and one long and loud clap of thunder.  Mabel was a bit crazy running around and knocking things over, but I managed to get back to sleep until 6:30 when that girl REALLY got crazy!  LOL. Hopefully all this rain will be good for the gardens and our flowers (though I can see that some of our daffodils have been blown down or knocked down by all the rain).

Anyway, here we are mid-week and it's time to link up with and check in with Kat and her Merry Band of Unravelers to talk about all the making and all the reading.  Believe it or not, I have a finish!!  Shortie socks are FAST!!


I absolutely LOVE these.  And, they were fun to make.  The yarn is from The Farmer's Daughter Fibers - it is my February Sock Squad yarn.  The two main colors are called "Whatta Gem - Citrine and Amethyst" and the blue is the mini skein (unnamed).  The first sock took me a week to make, but sock #2 was cast on Sunday and the cuff knit.  I picked it up again on Monday and finished it yesterday.  That's a record for me!!  There will definitely be more shortie socks in my future (and what a great way to use up leftovers).  These socks are also where I tried out The Finchley Graft for the first time and it is so easy.  I don't mind the Kitchener Stitch (to me it is almost meditative), but the Finchley Graft is faster (fewer steps).

This morning I will look through the stash to pick out yarn for the next socks...or I will wind the April yarn and use that!  I MUST have a sock project to take when we go away this weekend.  LOL. I'm thinking of taking the Shakerag Skirt too...but that is to be determined.  Space is at a premium since we are driving to our AirBnB with C&M.

As for reading, I am currently reading How to Say Babylon which is the next selection for our Read With Us group.  Last week I said it was just ok...but as I got further into the book it has become more compelling.  Also heartbreaking and disturbing.  This book has been compared to "Educated" (which I read but did not like).  It sure makes me thankful to have been raised the way I was!  I have less than 100 pages left, so I should finish this before we leave for the weekend.  

I've recently picked up a lot of books from the library - many recommended by some of you.  One of the books I saw and took out is The Fox Wife which I think at least one of you read.  It looks good - mixing a mystery with a folk tale or myth.  That may be the book I stick in my bag for the weekend.

Along with choosing yarn for my next sock project, I plan to bake some cookies today to take with us this weekend.  My friend Carol was planning to come up today (to celebrate birthdays and Christmas!!  I have not seen her in a year!), but she has opted not to travel with the yucky weather.  The drive between our homes is a miserable one - Route 95, The Blue Route, the Schuylkill Expressway - not a fun drive in good weather.  Add in rain and wind and it is miserable.  We will pick another day to gather.  Meanwhile, I can put the extra time I now have to good use!

Laundry also needs to be done.  I'm hoping that I don't find a lot of water in our basement!

Happy Hump Day!

Tuesday, April 2, 2024

Tiny Needle Tuesday 4/2/24

 Good Morning Everyone!

We have a very gentle rain falling outside and it sounds lovely.  I was woken at 4 a.m. by Mabel who wanted the window raised at the back of the bedroom so that she could lay in the windowsill, listening to the rain and listening to the world waking up.  I burrowed back under the covers and was able to stay in bed till 6 a.m. - thank goodness!  By 6 a.m. Mabel was a little insistent on having breakfast or doing something.  It's funny, she will not go outside until it's light out.  And, with the rain today, that will be a later time this morning.

This past week saw a bit more progress on my little Sew Red sampler.  I'm enjoying all aspects of it - the alphabet, the various motifs and the border (which thankfully met up yesterday afternoon).


There is still a bunny, a butterfly, another flower, the date (year) and some other things to be filled in.  That's a lot to pack into a roughly 4" square space!

I will get a little bit more done on it this week, but I've also got some busy days.  We are getting ready to go away for a long weekend with Colin & Mailing and Bonnie & Zhongren.  C&M booked a gorgeous looking AirBnB for the six of us as a Christmas gift.  I've got some baking to do as well as packing and...of course...figuring out what knitting project(s) to take.  And books...and it's a good thing I have not packed away winter clothes, because it will be a little chilly where we are going - 40's during the day, 30's at night.  We are looking forward to some hiking trails and outdoor fires.

Time to pour a second cup of coffee and try to wake up.  I hope your week is going well.

Monday, April 1, 2024

Weekending 4/1/24

 Hello and Good Morning!

How was your weekend?  I hope everyone had a good one and a Happy Easter.

My weekend was nice.  Saturday morning Fletch and I ran some errands including picking up some tulips to take to Colin & Mailing on Sunday and getting some new lettuce (red and green romain) and spinach to go in the cold frame.





Saturday afternoon I sat down and finished the first shortie sock!!  I do love the way it turned out.


I also used a new (to me) technique for closing up the toe.  I used the Finchley Graft (if you have not heard of it, there are multiple YouTube videos showing it).  The hardest part for me was turning the sock inside out because I had already put the last stitches on two needles!  The Finchley Graft was fun and easy to do.  (Sock #2 is underway now.)

Colin had suggested that we come over in time to take a walk before dinner on Sunday, but Fletch had been in the garden planting the lettuce and spinach and it had gotten quite breezy and chilly outside.  Of course, later in the day the winds died and the sun came back out, but we arrived too late for a walk.  Dinner was delicious (ham, pineapple stuffing, green beans, Chinese eggplant) and dessert was very yummy.  Colin had made an Atlantic Beach Pie which is a wonderful cross between lemon meringue pie and key lime pie.  Delicious!!





A sweet ending to a wonderful meal.  After dinner we all went out back for a fire.  Bonus:  we saw the space station fly overhead once again.

We are due for rain today and the next several days.  Sounds to me like a perfect day for being lazy.  I'll get some laundry done, but no other plans.  Whatever you do - enjoy!

Friday, March 29, 2024

Heading Toward the Weekend!

 Good Morning Everyone!

How are you? Has the week treated you well?  I hope so.  It is kind of grey and damp here.  I don't think we received the amount of rain that was forecast (thank goodness) - that seemed to be East and North of us.  But the temp has dropped a bit.  As I sit at my desk typing, Mabel is curled up on her shelf by the office window waiting for the birds to arrive at the window feeder for breakfast.  So far there don't seem to be any takers.  Everyone is sleeping in today (and I'm wishing I had).

Yesterday morning I met up with Dee at Manhattan Bagel for a bit of crafty time together.  Since it was Thursday, we did not have to put up with BAD live music!  LOL. It was a pleasant way to spend a morning for sure and I was able to work on my February shortie sock a bit.

Good thing, because just before dinner Fletch went out to get the mail and my April sock yarn arrived (a day early)!


Pretty colors.  The pink yarn is called "Out of the Mouths of Babes" which cracks me up.  And the brown mini skein really compliments the pink I think.  I am not usually one who gravitates to the pink shades, but I really like this yarn.  The pink is a hefty 100 gram skein too - the label says it is  463 yards.  The mini is 20 grams and the label states 92 yards.

Today will be filled with bill paying (I hate that!) and running some errands this morning.  We have decided on home-made pizza for dinner which will be nice.  Easter Sunday we will be heading over to Colin & Mailing's for Easter dinner.

Have a wonderful weekend and Happy Easter to those who celebrate.  

(And now the birds have started coming to the window feeder - Mabel is chatting to some of them - LOL)

Wednesday, March 27, 2024

Unraveled Wednesday 3/27/24

 Good Morning!

It is a milder morning here in Eastern PA, but there is dampness in the air.  We are forecast to have a couple days of rain...and our backyard is still a soggy mess after the Saturday storm!

Hard to believe we are at the last Wednesday in March.  Time to link up with Kat and her Merry Band of Unravelers to talk all about what we are making and reading.  Fun things!

As I mentioned the other day, I have (finally) cast on with my February sock yarn from The Farmer's Daughter.  I've decided to go with shortie socks (which I don't normally wear, but sometimes in the summer it's what I want).



Obviously I have not gotten far.  There are 12 rows of 2x2 ribbing in that pretty blue...then 8 rows straight in the lavender and now I am about 10 rows into the heel flap.  Being shortie socks they should (theoretically) go quickly...but for that to happen, one must spend time knitting on them!  There is a third color (gold) that will be added somewhere down the foot.  I should work on these as I just received notice that my April yarn has shipped and should be here by Friday! 

Meanwhile, another project I want to work on is my Shakerag Skirt!  Here it is exactly as I left it sometime last year.


I love the color of the yarn!  My plan had been to spend time on this yesterday, but something better happened!  Colin texted me to see if I wanted to go for a walk after lunch.  Taking a walk with Colin will trump knitting any day of the week!  Especially when it is a gorgeous day full of sunshine.  We walked through White's Road Park (a local park with a nice footpath) and then through the neighborhood for a bit - about 40 minutes of walking.  So many bushes are beginning to bloom and other plants are loaded with buds.  It was also nice to see so many people out walking about.

After I got home I walked out to our garden to see if anything is happening.  We have around 20 garlic shoots popping up through the leaf mulch!


And the first rhubarb shoot is up (and the stem is red!!).


I was also encouraged to see buds on our fig tree.  Woo-Hoo.  We never had figs last year, so I am hoping for a bumper crop this year.

On the reading side of things, not a lot to report.  I did finish The Berry Pickers by Amanda Peters.  I liked it...thought it was good, though the ending felt rushed and just not up to the rest of the book.  I picked up several books at the library.  I've read roughly 75 pages of How to Say Babylon which is just ok for me so far.  I find myself easily closing my eyes while reading it!  I also picked up Big Sky by Kate Atkinson, but am finding it slow going...not sure I will finish it or just return it to the library.  The last book I picked up is one that was recommended to me:  The Good Thief but I have yet to get into it.

Today I am heading to the office to turn in my laptop, assorted keyboards, cords and mice as well as my key fob that let's me into our office space.  LOL. I'm curious to see the new office space, but don't plan to spend much time there.  I will make a Trader Joe's run since I'm in the neighborhood and will most likely pick up wine as well.  And then this afternoon I'd really like to spend time knitting!  We shall see.

Be sure to check out Kat's space to see what everyone else is making and reading.  And, while you are at it, have a wonderful Wednesday!


Tuesday, March 26, 2024

Tiny Needle Tuesday 3/26/24

 Hello and Good Morning my Friends,

A few minutes ago as I was pouring my first cup of coffee, I heard some geese fly overhead - probably headed to some field for a bit of breakfast.  There is a rosy glow to the sky this morning...a bit on the overcast side, but also warmer than previous mornings.  Thank goodness!  I needed the heat in my car as well as the seat warmer when I left the house at 8:45 yesterday morning.

It hardly seems possible, but welcome to the last TNT post of March 2024.  How can we be a quarter through the year already?  Anyway, I have a finish to share as well as a new start!  First up, The Hunt Sampler:


The center of the wreath is supposed to contain initials as well as a date, but since I highlighted my initials in the alphabet, I decided just to go with the date and used the same color that I had used for my initials.  Details:
  • The Hunt Sampler by Homespun Sampler
  • Stitched on 36 count linen over 2 (18 stitches to the inch)
  • Silk threads by Vicki Clayton:  main color is Aqua Marine; color for the date and my initials is Deep Ocean

Someone (I forget who) asked if I would show the back side of my stitching, so here goes:


When my Mom was teaching me to embroider, she always emphasized that the back side of your work should be as neat as the front.  I once was in a class where one of the students was stitching in a manner where it was hard to tell the front from the back!  That was pretty amazing.

I finished The Hunt Sampler on Saturday, so a new piece was started on Sunday!  Once again I am stitching with only one color of silk.  The piece is entitled "Sew Red" and is by iStitch Designs.  There are a number of free designs on her web site.


I dug deep into my stash for supplies.  The linen is 40 count wood smoke (which looks a bit mottled) - a piece I won in a give-away years ago.  The silk thread is once again from Vicki Clayton and the color is "Old Maid of the Heart."  I'm not sure if you can see the variations in the thread - even clicking to enlarge the picture they may not show up.  But at times the thread has a hint of pink and at other times it gets darker and almost has a touch of brown in it.  Here it is on the spool:


You can see the variations on the spool a little easier.  I've surprised myself going with another piece in just one color.  Not my usual style, but I'm thoroughly enjoying this piece. I definitely need my magnifier though!!  This is a rather small piece.  It is only 85 by 85 stitches...so on 40 count fabric stitched over 2 it will be roughly 4.25" square.

Well, time for me to pour another cup of coffee and wake up Fletch.  Have a wonderful Tuesday!

Monday, March 25, 2024

Weekending 3/25/24

 Good Morning Everyone,

My gosh but we had a ton of rain on Saturday!  I woke to hear it raining during the night and it never let up until dinner time.  I'm not sure how much rain we got - we haven't yet put our rain gauge out because our temps are still dipping below freezing - but our backyard was essentially a lake!  And then the winds picked up and roared.  Sunday morning I noticed that once again my archery target and the backdrop at the edge of our yard before the woods had blown over again.  Poor Mabel did not know what to do.  She wanted to go out, but then she wouldn't.  Instead she tried to drive us crazy getting into and onto things that she should not.

Backing up a bit, Colin & Mailing came over for dinner on Friday.  We had picked up some strawberries when we were grocery shopping and I found rhubarb from the garden in the freezer, so I made a strawberry-rhubarb crostata for dessert.


Tasty, but I won't bother freezing rhubarb this coming summer.  It is much better fresh!

I did manage to do a few chores - laundry was done and I finally (finally!!) dusted and vacuumed our bedroom.  Fresh sheets and a clean room do wonders for a good night of sleep.  I also ran to the library and picked up a few books.

Sunday was for making.  I started a new cross stitch piece (more on that tomorrow), I cast on with my February yarn from the Farmer's Daughter (finally) and also pulled out a project that I had forgotten about - my Shakerag Skirt!!  That will be receiving some well earned attention.

This is a busy week - something going on each day, but all manageable.  Meanwhile, it's time to pour another cup of coffee and dry my hair.  I hope your week is off to a great start!

Thursday, March 21, 2024

Finished!!

 Good Morning Everyone,

Brrrr...it is in the 20's here this morning.  Even Mabel doesn't want to be outside!  I woke a number of times in the night hearing the wind howl.  We have a buoy bell that we bought while on a trip to Maine years ago and have that hanging on our shed (at the very back of our backyard just before the woods).  That bell was clanging ALL night.  Later, once the sun is up, I will venture outside to cut some more daffodils.  The ones I had on the table all wilted and now the ones on the windowsill are following suit.  

As I mentioned in yesterday's blog, it was my Mom's birthday yesterday.  She passed away 20 years ago and at times it feels like yesterday - hard to believe she has been gone so long.  Many of you have heard these stories, so I won't go into depth, but she was a very independent woman and someone I admired so much.  At the age of 20 or 21 (I can't remember right off the bat now), she rode her bicycle from Vermont to Canada by herself.  The following year, she and her girlfriend Jennie rode their bikes from Vermont to California!  They just took bedrolls and a few changes of clothes and stayed in youth hostels mostly.  They were not opposed to sleeping in someone's barn if the weather turned foul and they were still riding.  LOL.   Unfortunately they had an accident when they arrived in California and Jennie ended up being hospitalized for a number of weeks.  My Mom worked in the hospital while Jennie got better and then Jennie's parents paid for them to fly back to Vermont.  (My Mom's parents did not have a lot of money - my Grandfather was a minister and my Grandmother did not work.)

My Mom is the one who taught me to knit and to embroider (not cross stitch - she did not do that).  I still have an Icelandic sweater she knit for me as well as some of the linens she embroidered. They are treasures.  She was a great tennis player - almost always acing her serves; she swam like a fish and hiked like an explorer!  One summer she packed up me and two of my brothers and we drove across the country in a Northern route, down the Western Coast, back across the country on a Southern route and up the Eastern Coast to come home.  We were gone for weeks!  My Dad flew out to meet us when we were in South Dakota and then he flew back (to go to work) when we reached Los Angeles.  What a trip!  I cannot imagine doing that on my own with three kids!

Anyway, on to the title of this post.  My March socks are finished!!  


I managed to knit through most of the foot while seeing Dee yesterday morning.  When I got home, I only had the last 5 rows (with the pin stripes) and then the toe decrease, so I finished them up last night after dinner.

The yarn is the March selection from the Farmer's Daughter Sock Squad.  The main color is called "Grandma's Hands" and even though it looks like the socks are kind of striped, the yarn is really just variegated.  I knit these using #2 needles and knit an Eye of the Partridge heel flap.  The leg and foot are just plain vanilla.  Luckily I had determined early on these would be for me...luckily because I really, really like them!  In fact, I may just have to wear them today.

The other finish I have is a book.  Last night I finished The Berry Pickers by Amanda Peters.  This was another fast read for me.  I found the story to be good and the writing is strong.  The end felt a little flat to me, but I still give it 4.5 stars and highly recommend.

Later this morning I'm heading to our accountant's office to go over tax stuff.  Hopefully this will not be a painful visit!!

And...I'm hoping I can find Spring somewhere!!  Have a good Thursday.

Wednesday, March 20, 2024

Unraveled Wednesday 3/20/24

 Hello and Good Morning!

And Happy first full day of Spring.  This is my Mom's birthday and, if she were still alive, she would be 105 today.  Gosh I miss her - we had so many laughs and good times together.

It's Wednesday which means it's time to link up with Kat and her Merry Band of Unravelers to talk about all the making and all the reading.  I've been focusing on my second March sock and am very close to finishing it!

Sock Displayed on a VERY Messy Table!

I had thought that I might have it finished by today, but that is not the case.  I'm roughly halfway down the foot to the toe decreases and that knitting should occur this morning because I am meeting Dee in just a couple hours for one of our therapy sessions.  LOL. I say therapy in a joking way, but you know, I always feel better after we get together.

My mind has been on the February yarn I received from The Farmer's Daughter.  I still have not quite determined what it will become, but I'd like to start in on something when my March sock is finished and BEFORE my April yarn arrives.  I'd also like to get back to my Hitch on the Move.  I have not knit a single row on that project in a week.  Of course there are plenty of other ideas/projects/WIPs calling my name.

Reading has improved and I feel as though I am getting over my reading slump where nothing seemed that great - a lot of just average or mediocre books.  Bonny had listened to a book that sounded good to me and so I requested it from my library.  Glaciers by Alexis Smith is a short book - just over 100 pages, but what a delight it is!  The story takes place over one day in the life of Isabel (Bell or Belly) and each chapter is a tiny vignette looking into what she is feeling or doing or seeing.  The writing is quite good.

Now I am reading The Berry Pickers by Amanda Peters.  I forget where I heard about this book, but I had been in the queue for months.  This too, is very well written.  I have under 100 pages left to read, so should finish this one soon.

Be sure to head over to Kat's place to see what others are making and reading - inspiration abounds.  Now it's time for me to pour another cup of coffee and wake up a bit.  Happy Hump Day!

Tuesday, March 19, 2024

Tiny Needle Tuesday 3/19/24

 Hello, Hello!

Finally, Spring is here...or at least the beginning.  I believe today is the Vernal Equinox.  I always consider 3/20 the first day of Spring because it's my Mom's birthday.  But from what I hear, today is the Equinox.  And, naturally, it feels like we are back in winter.  After some lovely warm days last week and into the weekend, I am now back to having fleece leggings on and a wool cardigan.  Geeze!  An extra blanket on the bed last night and socks on my feet kept me warm during the night (and Mabel curled up tightly against me also!).

We survived our booster shots with no issues or reactions.  Fletch said he didn't even feel his shot.  I felt mine (for sure) and my arm was a little tender or sore when I rolled over onto that side in the night, but no other issues.  Next up I've got to schedule my mammogram.  There is always something....

Here we are at Tuesday - another week flown by - and it's time for a TNT update.  My tiny needle did get a bit of a workout this past week.  I am closing in on the end of the Hunt Sampler!


The alphabet is compete - I love the slant of the letter A.  I also love my initials (VEL) in a lighter shade of blue.  Mr. Squirrel in the lower right octagon was added along with the motifs in the two lower hexagons.  There is one more octagon to be filled as well as some stuff in the lower left.  This should be finished up pretty promptly which means I'd best go stash diving to find something new to start!

Yesterday afternoon I loaded up the back of my car with stuff to donate and drove to a lovely thrift store in the next town.  It felt good to (finally) unload some stuff.  There will be more, of that I'm sure.  But I feel as though a little progress has been made.  I also got rid of some old sheets and pillowcases from the linen closet (why had I held onto them??).  (They went into the trash...not donated).  I may (or may not) tackle the towels today.  Slow and steady - I'm not racing against anyone, just wanting to get things done (in my own time).

I'm looking forward to seeing some of you tonight on our Zoom discussion of "The Poisonwood Bible."  I'm betting it will be a very lively discussion!!

Monday, March 18, 2024

Weekending 3/18/24

 

Hello and Good Morning,

Happy Monday!  How was your weekend?  Mine was lovely.  Nothing really out of the ordinary, just a bunch of little things that pleased me.  I met up with Dee Saturday morning - always a nice time.  I cut more daffodils to bring inside.  The white petaled ones with the orange centers are a favorite of mine and that bunch is now blooming under our apple tree.



I can't leave the daffodils where they are in the picture above..  That is the top of a dresser in the office room and Mabel has been known to jump up there - even though she shouldn't.  The little nine-drawer black & white chest holds *special* buttons - some found on vacations (knit ones in Colorado) (cat ones that Fletch bought for me as a surprise) (others found at a lovely store in Vermont that no longer exists).   I should USE them rather than just save them away in drawers.

Likewise, Juliann's Post about the quilt show she visited reminded me of ALL the fabric I have.  As I mentioned to Juliann, I used to collect fabric like others collect shells or pinecones or anything.  I have a lot of it.  Now that I am retired and have the TIME, I intend to go through it and do something with it!  I have a bunch for making more tablecloths; some for making pillow covers; and a lot that could be sewn into interesting/unusual tops.  No guarantee that anything will happen soon, but at least I am thinking about it!

I did manage to scrub the bathrooms this weekend, wash the towels and the bath rugs.  Nice to have that done.  I did not get to the kitchen floor (filthy) or the bedroom (equally dirty).  BUT, I did relax and enjoy life.  Fletch and I sat out once or twice (not for too long as it was kind of chilly).  Fletch did some pruning on the apple tree.  Mabel joins us on the patio when we sit out in the late afternoon.

Today at the recommendation of our doctor, we are going to CVS for another booster shot.  We had our last one in October, but our doctor recommends another one since we are over 65.  Plus, we are going away in early April and I will be flying to NC in mid-April.  I'm happy to get more protection!  We've never had any reaction to the booster shots and I don't expect one today...but I will plan to take it easy - knitting and stitching and reading.

Wishing you all a great start to a new week!

Friday, March 15, 2024

Winding Down the Week

 Good Friday Morning!

It has been such a nice week!  Yesterday I was able to get out in the afternoon for a walk along the canal.  I had not been on that path/trail for quite some time (it can get kind of muddy after a lot of rain).  There were quite a few people out - some bikers, some dog walkers, some joggers - everyone seemed to be enjoying the abundant sunshine.  There were a ton of turtles sunning themselves on various logs in the canal.


If you enlarge you will see there are at least a dozen turtles in that snap!

I even spotted a painted rock along the trail!


Several loads of wash dried very nicely on the lines yesterday.  Of course, there is more laundry to be done today.  Not sure that will dry outside - we have a chance of rain.

But weather!!  Carolyn, I was thinking of you:  my brother who lives in Boulder, CO had been in California for business.  He flew home late Wednesday night - getting in around midnight.  It was raining, but forecast to turn to snow.  At 12:30 Thursday afternoon he texted a picture - they already had 15" of snow and it was forecast to keep snowing for another 24 hours!!  I cannot even imagine.

Mailing has been in Texas all week for work and Colin invited us over yesterday for dinner.  This one was being a bit on the lazy side.


And then he escaped to the great outside world!  Luckily he doesn't run away or anything.  He just wandered around the patio in the back until Colin grabbed him and put him back inside.  Poor Marcel, he was not happy about that.  Talbot doesn't even try to get out!

We ordered out steak sandwiches for dinner - YUM.  It was still so nice we took our food out to the backyard to eat.  At some point either Fletch or Colin noticed a beautiful hawk in one of his trees.  I think the hawk was eyeing my sandwich!  LOL


We hung out for awhile and had a fire in the pit once it began to get dark.  Just before 9 p.m. we saw the ISS fly over!  I signed up for notifications, but this was the first time I saw it.  Very cool.


No real plans for today - a bit more laundry as I mentioned.  I may run some errands or not.  I may start to clean out the linen closet...or not...I may venture to the library if a book come in.  Definitely I will make time for knitting and stitching and reading.  Tomorrow Dee and I are meeting up (this week was too busy to get together during the week).

What about you?  Any plans?  Whatever you do (or don't do), may the weekend be a good one.  Have some fun!


Wednesday, March 13, 2024

Unraveled Wednesday 3/13/24

 Good Morning Everyone!

So hard to believe we are just about at the mid-point of March.  How has that happened so quickly?  Time does march on indeed, and it is warming up here.  Fletch and I were able to sit outside on the patio before dinner and we saw our first bluebird this year!!  Fletch gave me a bluebird house last year, so we are hoping that they will find our yard and the accommodations inviting.  Also, more daffodils have opened up.  We have a bunch of these small ones on the North side of the house and yesterday I picked these.


So cheerful!

Here we are back at another Wednesday and it is time to link up with Kat and her Merry Band of Unravelers to talk making and reading.

Despite my near disaster with my Hitch on the Move (which I have not had a chance to look at yet...perhaps today), some knitting was accomplished.  The first sock using the March yarn from The Farmer's Daughter has been completed:


Hard to tell from this picture (sorry - I did not spread out the sock in a pleasing way), but I put two little pin stripes right before the beginning of the toe decrease.  I love the way these two yarns/colors work together.  The main color (colorway:  Grandma's Hands) almost looks like it is stripes, but really the yarn is just a bit varigated.  Not wanting to drop down into second sock syndrome, March sock #2 has been started.


This one seems to be going a bit slower, primarily because everytime I pick up my needles to knit my eyes tend to close.  (Which also explains why I have not yet gone back to look at my Hitch on the Move!!)

Reading has been good.  Slow and steady.  I finished This Cold Country - a book I pulled off one of our bookshelves in the bedroom.  It was ok - just sort of average.  It is in the pile of books that will be taken to the donation center.  While waiting on a couple of books I'm in queue for at my library, I picked up another book from our shelves - The Women on the Wall - a collection of short stories by Wallace Stegner.  I'm not a huge fan of short stories as I have mentioned previously, but I do love Stegner's writing.  This book is no exception.  The one thing I did notice in the 3 stories I read last night is that there is an undercurrent of cruelty in some of his characters.  Not a fan of that!  But, still, Stegner was a master of writing and it shows in these stories.

Fletch and I are continuing to listen to the Bill Bryson book after dinner (This One).  We find outselves laughing out loud - sometimes so hard that I start crying.  Another reason not as much knitting is getting done!  It's really a very entertaining book.  I'm sorry that we have less than 2 hours left to listen to it.

Be sure to head over to Kat's spot to see what everyone is making and reading.  And have a wonderful mid-week!

Tuesday, March 12, 2024

Tiny Needle Tuesday 3/12/24

 Good Morning!

How are you?  Has the time change sunk in?  Or have you adjusted to it?  Usually the Spring Forward time change has a larger impact on me than the Fall Back change.  But this year?  Nothing.  It hasn't really seemed to bother me.  I'm thankful.

I think the wind has finally died down.  Thank God.  It is still on the chilly side though (low 30's this a.m.).  We should gradually warm up this week and by Thursday it should be 72 or thereabouts!  That will be nice as we are going over to Colin's for dinner.  Mailing is in Texas for the week (for work) and Colin has been busy working on garden beds, pulling weeds and trimming shrubs, etc.  He is anxious for us to walk around and see what he has done.  With the new time, it should still be light for walking around his yard at 5 p.m.

We got Fletch's car back from the shop yesterday morning.  Turns out he needed brakes.  Holy Moly that was an expensive job!  But, it's done and now the car is safe which is the important point.

This past week I was able once again to make some steady progress on The Hunt Sampler.  I'm so surprised at how this is holding my attention.  Usually I'm bored with just one color, but I'm loving this one.  Here's an overall shot as of last night:



And here is a close up of the parts added this past week:



Only a few more bits and pieces to be added (and the alphabet needs to be finished).  It is going much faster than I expected.  I'll need to start thinking ahead to my next project.

I'll be back tomorrow for Unraveled Wednesday.  Have a wonderful Tuesday!

Monday, March 11, 2024

Weekending

 Good Morning!

It feels as though Winter is back in town.  I ran out early this morning to get some bloodwork done and thought I might get blown away!  And, of course, the winds were fierce ALL night which did not make for a restful time.

How was your weekend?  Mine was nice.  I met up with Dee on Saturday (we had to change our plans from today) for several hours of chatting and sipping and knitting.  Friday night I had thought I was going to need an intervention by Dee!  LOL  I had been knitting on my Hitch on the Move when I realized I had the wrong number of stitches on the needle.  I could not figure out what had happened, but there was a spot that just looked crazy.  I still don't know what I did, but it took me over an hour to fix it.  I have not looked at it since...hopefully all is ok.  I will most likely pull it out later and have a look.

Saturday was rainy all day and we had standing water (again) in the back yard.  Sunday we had a little bit of everything!  It was crazy out there.  Fletch and I dropped off one of the cars at our mechanic's for service on Monday, and right after we got home this happened:


We had rain, we had snow, we had sleet, we had clouds, we had sun and we had MAJOR winds.  The winds are supposed to continue all day which is not a pleasant thought.

Luckily I had taken some homemade soup out of the freezer for dinner, so I didn't have to do much!  Fletch watched the Oscars and I spent the evening knitting and reading.

No plans for today other than to take it easy.  I appreciate the luxury of being able to do that!  Hope your week is off to a great start!


Friday, March 8, 2024

Heading Into The Weekend 3/8/24

 Good Morning!

 

The sun is up and so am I.  A cup of coffee has been poured and a few sips taken.  I may (key word) be falling into a rhythm with my days.  Or not.  The plan is to walk this morning as well as get some wash going.  The kids were over for dinner last night and then we had a fire in the pit.  Everything smells of woodsmoke!

 



 

Dinner was both hot and BBQ wings that Fletch and Colin grilled.  I made some Biscuits and steamed a bunch of broccoli to go with it.  We also had an old fashioned dessert called “Lemon Delight” which is sort of like a lemon pudding with a sponge cake on top.  Tasty and pretty light!  Both my Mom and my Aunt in Vermont used to make this dessert regularly.

 

I did manage to cut two of our first blooming daffodils.  I love a spot of yellow to brighten things up!

 



 

In addition to laundry (since everything smells smoky), I would like to start in on a project or two, but we’ll see how interested I am in doing that later on.  LOL. I may just pick up a needle or two and spend the day working on my knitting and/or stitching.

 

Dee and I are planning to get together again tomorrow – next week is rather busy for both of us and we couldn’t find a day to meet up that works for both of us.  Looking forward to that.

 

Whatever your plans are, have some fun!

 

Wednesday, March 6, 2024

Unraveled Wednesday 3/6/24

 Good Morning!

Not only is my brain foggy this morning, but it is very foggy outside as well.  Yesterday was rainy pretty much all day and somehow time got away from me (again) and I never even picked up my knitting until after dinner.  I really need to figure out this retirement time thing!  LOL

Anyway, here we are mid-week and it's time to link up with Kat and her Merry Band of Unravelers to talk making and reading.  Despite time seeming to get away from me, I do have progress to show on both my March sock (the first) and my Hitch on the Move.

The March sock did prove to be a bit of a problem initially.  I tried two different patterns and had to unravel both before I listened to the yarn and discovered that it just wanted to be a plain sock.  But now I've knit down the leg and will start the heel flap this morning when I meet up with Dee.



Now I just need to figure out if I want a contrasting flap and heel or not.  Decisions, decisions!

My Hitch on the Move did see a bit of love this week with 3 sections being added.  This is a fun knit and so easy to memorize.  



I weighed my main color (Wish You Were Beer - the brown on the left) and I've hardly used any of it, so I'm sure I will have plenty of yarn to make this a BIG shawl.

Reading has been a bit slower.  I keep forgetting to turn on my audible book (Where the Line Bleeds by Jesmyn Ward) when I sit down to knit or stitch.  My book-book that I'm reading with my eyes is This Cold Country by Annabel Davis-Goff.  This is a book that I bought years (decades??) ago at Barnes & Noble and it has been sitting on a book shelf ever since then.  While waiting on a book from the library I decided I needed to start reading some of the books I already own.  It is ok.  Not great, but it seems to be getting better.  It takes place during the Second World War and there are some strange characters in it.

After dinner, Fletch and I are listening to The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid - Bill Bryson's memoir of growing up in the 50's in the US.  The author is the narrator and there are parts of it that are laugh out loud funny.  I think Fletch is enjoying it a bit more than I am, but that is fine.

Well, time for me to pour another cup of coffee and get dressed...looking forward to meeting up with Dee is a little over an hour.  Hope your Wednesday is full of fun!