Thursday, February 29, 2024

Leap Day!

 Good Morning!

Welcome to the bonus day for 2024.  It's Leap Day!

My gosh we had strong winds last night.  It was howling most of the night.  I think both Mabel and I were a bit unnerved by the noise (Fletch said he slept fine).  I let Mabel out around 4:30 and didn't notice anything (it was still dark), but when I came back downstairs two hours later it was evident some fierce winds had been upon us.

That's the wood backdrop and (hopefully underneath the wood) my archery target at the edge of our woods.  I also noticed that the top of the cold frame is gone (I'm sure it's on the ground in the garden somewhere).  As promised the temps did drop (28 this morning compared to 58 yesterday morning), but temps are supposed to rise again and it should be in the 60's next week.  Up and down and up and down - enough to make a person (or animal) crazy.

Last night I did finally cast on with the new yarn from The Farmer's Daughter for a new pair of socks.  Just barely cast on!

Hopefully today will find me finishing the cuff and starting the pattern.  (And, if you click to enlarge, you might see that my stitch marker is a flip flop...anticipating warmer weather!!).

You know I will be celebrating my last day of work today.  Woo-Hoo!!!  No real plans other than relax, do some making, maybe a nap later (with a good book).  I took leftovers out of the freezer for dinner tonight, so even dinner will be easy.  Wishing you an easy day as well.

Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Unraveled Wednesday 2/28/24

 Hello and Good Morning,

It's a rainy and mild morning here.  My computer says it is 56 degrees!  I think it is supposed to rain pretty much ALL day.  Sounds like a good time to stay put and get some making done!

Wednesday is here, so it's time to link up with Kat and her Merry Band of Unravelers to talk about all the making and reading.  I have a finish!!

The Route 66 socks (Zauberball) are finished and already out of the house - LOL.  Fletch didn't want them (he said they were too dark for his taste), so Colin snapped them up last night when he and Mailing were over for dinner.  I'll confess that I'm sort of underwhelmed with them, but I'm glad Colin will show them some love.

I'll spare you a picture of my Hitch on the Move since it looks the same as last week.  However, my March sock yarn arrived the other day from The Farmer's Daughter!  And I already caked it up!

I am loving these colors!  A cast on has not yet occurred...but I'm thinking today will be the day.  And, I'm going to try a new-to-me pattern - it's This One (free on Ravelry).

Reading has been so good!  I have 4 finishes since last week.  (Practicing for retirement has helped!!)  First up, Fletch and I finished our after dinner read of The Ride of Her Life by Elizabeth Letts.  Fabulous read!  5 stars.  Next up for us will be listening to a Bill Bryson book.

House Lessons by Erica Bauermeister was a very quick and satisfying read.  Another 5 stars from me.  Last night I finished The Eyes and the Impossible by Dave Eggers which I loved.  Once again 5 stars!  Thank you Bonny for recommending this one.  I did get the book from the library and the illustrations are so nice, but the story!  Simply wonderful.

Lastly, I listened to a book one morning while knitting and/or stitching.  Really a short story (the audio is just over an hour).  It is A Mind of her Own by Paula McLain which is the story of Marie Curie while in school and meeting Pierre Curie.  This is an audio book I got for free from Audible some time ago.  Not bad...I'm not a huge fan of short stories and I thought this could have been longer, but it was a pleasant way to spend one morning.  Now I'm in the midst of listening to Where the Line Bleeds by Jesmyn Ward (another freebie I got from Audible).  So far, so good - I really like Ward's writing.

As I mentioned, Colin & Mailing came over for dinner last night.  Fletch grilled some of the best lambchops we have ever had.  I cooked up some baby potatoes and broiled some asparagus to go with the chops.  Let's for a moment talk desserts!  Yesterday I made a batch of new-to-me cookies:  Maraschino Chocolate Cherry Cookies which are pretty tasty!

And...Colin and Mailing brought over a Peanut Tart.  Oh my!  The recipe is from Smitten Kitchen and it is fabulous!  Sort of like a pecan pie, but peanuts...kind of like a PayDay candy get the idea.

Well, now I'm hungry!  Time to pour another cup of coffee and see if I can find something for breakfast.  Be sure to check out other Unraveled posts - there is always abundant inspiration!

Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Tiny Needle Tuesday 2/27/24

 Good Morning,

It's a fairly mild (36 degrees) morning here in Eastern Pennsylvania.  Luckily I did not have a repeat of yesterday cat puke was seen or felt!  Mabel seems fine and is enjoying being out in the milder weather.  She talks to the birds (trying to lure them closer I'm sure) and tries to be friends with the deer.  The squirrels run fast when they spy Mabel in the yard!  More and more daffodils are up and budded.  No blooms yet, but Spring is definitely on the way.

The days I have spent practicing for retirement have paid off with many more minutes to stitch.  I managed to get a lot stitched on The Hunt Sampler this past week.

I had thought I would finish the bird on the right yesterday, but I ended up missing a row and having to frog back.  Unpicking silk thread is not easy and the thread itself does not hold up.  I may be able to finish that "block" today, but time will tell.  This is an engaging piece to stitch and I am thoroughly enjoying it.  I did reach out to the dyer of the silk thread as I wasn't sure I would have sufficient to finish (what with having to frog rows and then trashing that thread).  Luckily she is still dying and I was able to find the exact color on her web site.  Two more spools have been ordered and will be on their way to me to ensure I have sufficient plus some for a rainy day!  LOL

Yesterday's trip to the office was even faster than normal!  I discovered that my chair was gone...and there were no chairs to be found!  I printed (in color) the one pattern I wanted to print and copied the stuff I wanted/needed to copy for tax purposes and then hightailed it out of there.  I did not see a single other person in the office!  I made a quick stop at Trader Joe's and the liquor store and was home in plenty of time for lunch with Fletch.

Today's plan is to do grocery shopping this morning and then I want to bake some cookies this afternoon (Fletch finally finished the last of the Christmas cookies the other day!).  Colin & Mailing are coming for dinner and IF the rain holds off, it might be a nice evening for a fire in the pit.

Whatever your plans are, I hope your Tuesday has some fun in it.  Enjoy!

Monday, February 26, 2024

Weekending 2/26/24


Welcome to the final week of February!  You all know I'm excited!!  Just 4 more days of work, but really none...I have not been doing much work-wise at all.

The lunch my peeers took me to last Wednesday was wonderful.  Delicious food, good conversation and I also got some lovely parting gifts.  So thoughtful and really very, very kind.

I can't tell you what I did Thursday or Friday, but it seems like it was busy.  Saturday morning I met up with Dee as usual for a delightful morning of catching up, some knitting and, of course, sipping coffee.  Sunday Fletch and I did some errands.  Nothing spectacular and nothing that really worked out, but fortunately it was a bright sunny day - the perfect day to be out for a drive.

And then this morning, at 5:30, as I walked downstairs to let Mabel out I stepped in cat vomit.  YUCK!  At least she had the presence of mind to puke on the bare floor rather than a rug, but still...She seems fine now - I guess something didn't agree with her.  She is back in and just had some breakfast (I can hear her moving her bowl around - she probably wants to go back out).

I need to get some potting soil to re-pot the oak saplings I grew from Acorns I gathered at Cook Forest State Park last Fall.

Time to get them out of the yogurt cup!

And look at my new succulents!!

The "petals" are ones I gathered at C&M's - they had fallen off a plant they brought back from Texas.  I don't think they have rooted (I since read about the plant and that is not the way to go about it), but other things have sprung up in the soil!  I want to get those planted in some good/better soil as well.

I'm heading to the office this morning.  I need to make copies of some things for my meeting with our tax person next month.  Then I'll make a quick run to Trader Joe's and also pick up some wine at the liquor store.  C&M are coming to dinner tomorrow night - Fletch is planning to grill some lamb chops.  YUM.  The afternoon I'm saving for knitting and stitching.

So, how was your weekend?  And how is your week shaping up?  Here's hoping it's a good one for all of us.  I can feel SPRING in the air!

Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Unraveled Wednesday 2/21/24

 Good Morning!

Whew!  It is another brisk morning in Eastern PA.  I let Mabel out at 5:15 and when I got up and let her back in at 6:30, her coat felt like ice.  It is just 20 degrees out there according to my computer.  but, I've a cup of coffee to sip on as I type and soon I'll be warmed up.

It's Wednesday which means Unraveled Wednesday and time to link up with Kat and her Merry Band of Unravelers to talk all about making and reading.  Fun topics and always filled with inspiration.  Fortunately for me, there has not been any unraveling this week.  Rather both of my knitting projects are moving steadily ahead.  Route 66 Sock #2 is now past the heel and the gussett decreases and knitting down the foot should be smooth sailing.

A bit more knitting was accomplished on my Hitch on the Move as well.

This is an easy knit to memorize and even as the rows get longer, it seems to go fast.  The one thing I am not thrilled about is how it looks where the two colors join.  It seems loose to me.  Those of you who have already knit this pattern (Kat, Bonny & Kym), do you have any suggestions or tips?  I've been trying to pull tightly on the Knit 2 together stitches where the colors join, but that doesn't really appear to help.

So far, 2024 is shaping up to be a memoir reading year for me.  Which is fine - I've always enjoyed that genre.  I am so very happy to say that I finished and returned The Sweet Life in Paris by David Lebovitz.  I could only give this book 2 stars.  I was so thrilled to have removed it from my house that I didn't even bother saving ANY of the recipes  LOL

Now I'm in the midst of House Lessons: Renovating a Life by Erica Bauermeister (author of "School of Essential Ingredients" and "No Two Persons").  This is her memoir of buying and renovating a house in the Pacific Northwest and boy was there a lot to do!  The house had previously been owned by hoarders and entailed first hauling away a ton of junk.  I'm a little over halfway through and finding it a good read.

Fletch and I are continuing our nightly reading of The Ride of Her Life and enjoying it very much.  Last night's passage included a marriage proposal from a Wyoming rancher!  I've moved up to #7 in the queue for The Berry Pickers and I'm hoping that comes to me soon.

Yesterday I did manage to get some chores done (both bathrooms have been scrubbed, towels washed and rugs washed as well and the larders have been restocked with groceries).  Today I will reach out to our tax person.  I also have a retirement lunch today!  The girls (my peers at work) are taking me to Nectar - a great restaurant in Berwyn.  Looking forward to that!

Happy Hump Day and Happy Unraveled Wednesday!

Tuesday, February 20, 2024

Tiny Needle Tuesday 2/20/24

 Hello One and All,

It is only 21 degrees this morning, but I'm here to tell you Spring is on the way.  Fletch spotted our first crocus blooms yesterday along the edge of our driveway bed.

We were remembering years ago we used to drive a road in the Bryn Mawr area and there was a house with crocus bulbs planted in their lawn that once up and blooming spelled out SPRING.  It was always such a joy to see them and I wonder if they are still there.

It's Tuesday and time for a Tiny Needle update.  I have a finish and a new start!  My Queen Bee has been finished - I even finished it into a pincushion!

I love how this turned out.  I also love the fabric I found for backing:

The backing fabric is some upholstery remnant I picked up years ago.  Upholstery remnants are what I often make my tablecloths from.  I think I had a little jacket in mind for this fabric, but that never happened.  I still have a lot of it, so who knows?  It could end up as a tablecloth.

My new start is a surprise to me.  I typically shy away from samplers or pieces stitched in only one color (unless quite small) as I tend to get bored.  But, I was having a difficult time choosing a new piece to work on and this one kept grabbing my attention.  So, I picked it.  It is The Hunt Sampler by Homespun Samplar.

(Please click to enlarge to see the full piece better)

I found some 36 count linen in my stash and I am stitching it in silk threads from Vicki Clayton (one silk thread over 2 linen threads).  I decided to stitch my initials in a different color.  The main color is Aqua Marine and my initials will be stitched in Deep Ocean.  I'm loving this so far.

I like the way the two blues look together and this is stitching up faster than I expected.  Last night I did have to frog some...I had somehow completely skipped a couple of rows in the outline motif around the stag.  It's a mess frogging silk thread!

There are a few things needing my attention today:  grocery shopping, lining up an appointment with our tax person, bathrooms need cleaning, etc., etc.  There is always something.  We'll see how much of those things I get done.  I'm more interested in stitching, knitting and reading.  LOL

Only 8 days left now!  Have a wonderful Tuesday!

Monday, February 19, 2024

Weekending 2/19/24

 Hello all,

How are you?  I am doing well.  Just 9 more days of work!  Woo-Hoo.  How was your weekend?  Mine was good, thank you very much.

I woke up at 4:00 Saturday morning, looked out the window and it was snowing like crazy.  It looked like a blizzaard.  When I got back up at 6 to let Mabel out it had stopped.  It started and stopped again several times during the morning.  Turns out we got a few inches of snow, but the roads were clear.  Good thing since we were on cat duty this weekend and I needed to get over to Colin & Mailing's to feed Talbot and Marcel.

Dee texted me around 7:30 to say she was up for meeting since the roads were not bad, so we spent a few hours in Manhattan Bagel enjoying our knitting and conversation (and some pretty bad music...again...).

Yesterday I made some bread (bread machine):

 Maple Oatmeal Bread and boy is that yummy!  I made it to go with some soup - a recipe that Kym shared some months back:  Lemony White Bean Soup With Turkey and Greens.  That was very yummy too and now there are leftovers in both the frig and freezer!

Today's dinner is a recipe from another bloggy friend - Bonny!  She shared a "what's for dinner?" recipe where you throw cooked chicken breasts, frozen corn, various beans, a jar of salsa and taco seasoning in the crock pot and let it cook all day.  The chicken breasts are just about finished cooking and I will put everything in the pot before I leave to go feed the cats.  Meals like this are so satisfying - they go together quickly, they are easy to make, they taste great and there are lots of leftovers.

I have a few things on my agenda today:  laundry, picking up a prescription, and maybe a chore or two around the house...or not...there must be time for knitting, stitching and reading!  The week must be started in the right way!  LOL

Have a great Monday!

Thursday, February 15, 2024

Practicing 2/15/24

 Good morning!

Gosh it is cold this morning (22) and winds are forecast.  I dislike wind SO MUCH (even in the hot summer, I do not like wind).

I had a successful time yesterday practicing at retirement.  LOL  Fletch and I drove out to Oley mid-morning to Repperts where we loaded up with 2 lbs of dark chocolate covered pretzels, some candied fruit slices, some all sorts (I can be a licorice fiend) and even a Bonomo Turkish Taffy - remember those?  I loved the banana flavor and got one.  Not sure it will be as good as my memory, but whatever.  There were tons of chocolate bunnies and crosses for the upcoming Easter season, but we didn't get any of those.

The drive out to Oley was nice - country roads and snow along the roadsides.  Pretty.  But geeze traffic was heavy.  I think we were spoiled by the pandemic with no one being on the EVERYONE seems to be out and about.

Pre-pandemic Fletch and I used to go to the Limerick Diner for breakfast once in awhile.  But they closed during the pandemic.  Now they are open again, so that is where we stopped for lunch.  It was ok - not great, but a warm cup of coffee tasted good.  There is now a tavern attached to the back of the diner.  The Flying Pig Tavern.

Make that a Flying Purple Pig!!

Fletch bought me a book of poetry:

These are too funny.  The author is the same one who came out with a book of poems by cats titled "I Could Pee on This" which Colin had given me some years ago.  LOL

Fletch also found gifts for Mabel, Marcel and Talbot.  They haven't seen them yet...but they will.  

These are spring loaded (I think rubber band?) butterflies that you are supposed to place in a book and then get someone to open it and SURPRISE - a butterfly springs out.  He thought we could just launch them into the air.  I think we will wait and try that with Mabel OUTSIDE.  She gets crazy enough inside at times.

We had a quiet evening - I stitched and Fletch watched TV.  Even though I really, really want a cream puff (did you see Carole's Blog?) I'm thinking of making some Korean veggie pancakes for lunch.  Hoping your Thursday is going well!

Wednesday, February 14, 2024

Unraveled Wednesday 2/14/24

 Hello and Happy Valentine's Day!!  

Here's to a day filled with love (every day should be filled with love) and, perhaps, some chocolate and some vino.  And some flowers!

We stayed put yesterday.  It snowed all morning and we ended up with about 6" overall.

Wet, heavy snow.  Fletch did go out later in the day to clean off the cars and walk down the driveway to get our mail.  It was so pretty and Miss Mabel loved being outside in it.  She was out most of the morning and then napped most of the afternoon.

Well, as mentioned, it's Valentine's Day and also Ash Wednesday and Unraveled Wednesday.  Let's link up with Kat and her Merry Band of Unravelers and see what everyone is making and reading this week.  I have both a finish and a start to share!  First up, my Route 66 sock (first one) is finished and...not wanting to have second sock syndrome, the second one has been cast on.

I'm not sure who will end up getting these.  They will be the right size for both Fletch and Colin.

I'm happy to have (finally) started my Hitch on the Move.  Only the start up rows have been knit, but it's a start...actually the second one...the first time I somehow dropped a stitch and messed everything up.  But now I'm on a roll (I hope).

The yarn is Ema's Yarn.  On the left is "Wish You Were Beer" and on the right is "Weathervane."  I bought these two skeins a few years ago on an outing with Dee thinking that they would be nice together in a shawl.  I had no specific pattern in mind, but then Hitch on the Move came out and I thought it would be perfect.

Reading has been mostly slow.  I'm still reading This Book and still finding the text somewhat tedious and boring...the recipes look good though.  And, I'm listening to "The Poisonwood Bible" which has more humor in it than I recall.  Not that it's a comedy or funny book by any means, but there are times I laugh out loud while listening.  I still have about 8 hours to go.  I'm in queue for a couple of books at my library, so hopefully one or more will come to me soon.

Fletch and I are still enjoying The Ride of Her Life - this would go much faster if we read more than 10 pages or so after dinner.  Still, it is very enjoyable.  The kindness of strangers is such a nice thing to read about.  And, it reminds me of when my Mom and her friend Jennie took off from Vermont in 1940 and road their bikes all the way to California.  They too experienced the kindness of strangers in so many ways.

I hope you all have a wonderful day.  Fletch and I are running out late morning to a candy store about 30-45 minutes away.  They sell the most wonderful dark chocolate pretzels and Fletch has had a hankering for them for months now!  And then we will go out to lunch somewhere.  I'll catch up with work emails when I get back.  I'm practicing for retirement (in just a few weeks!!).

Tuesday, February 13, 2024

Tiny Needle Tuesday 2/13/24

 Good Morning All,

Well, the snow is here.  I had guessed (wrong) that we would just get rain.  It was raining pretty hard when I went to bed at 10:30 last night and was still raining when Mabel asked to go out at 4:30.  But, when I got up at 6:15, the street, cars, lawn - everything - was (and is) covered in snow and it's coming down at a pretty good clip.  Luckily I ran out yesterday afternoon for milk (was just about out) and sunflower seeds for the birds, so we can stay put today - no need to go out.

Luckily I did get out for a walk yesterday morning.  I went early - 9 a.m. - and there were not many on the trail.  Once again I walked alongside the Perkiomen Creek in Oaks.  No sign of a blue heron or red winged blackbirds (I keep hoping to see them) but just about a gazillion geese.  At one point I didn't know if I would be able to continue down the trail as the geese were covering it.  Fortunately they moved out of the way.  These are not nasty geese.  I did spot a sign of spring along the side of the trail - little bulbs coming up:

Now, of course, these gentle little plants are covered in snow.  That's Spring!

Happy Mardi Gras!  It kind of snuck up on me this year.  Colin was soaking beans last night to make red beans and rice.  I didn't even think of that, so we are having pasta with sauce that I made a few weeks ago.

So here we are at Tiny Needle Tuesday and I do have an update to share.  My Queen Bee has gotten her wings!

Don't her wings look lacey and delicate?  I'm planning on finishing the border at the top today.  There is also a bottom border and then sort of a honeycomb design on either side.

Since I will be house-bound today, I may take the opportunity to stash dive and pick out my next project...this one is nearing completion.  Of course, I could easily get distracted by any one of a million other things.

Have a wonderful Tuesday and if you are in the path of this storm (or any other), stay warm and safe.

Monday, February 12, 2024

Wewekending 2/12/24

 Hello My Friends,

How are you?  And, how was your weekend?  Mine was lovely.  Naturally I met up with Dee Saturday morning for our therapy session.  I managed to get a good amount of knitting done on the Route 66 sock.

Colin & Mailing had invited us for dinner Saturday night and it was a delicious meal.  Mailing made beef bourguignon which was amazing over egg noodles.  Colin made an upside down blood orange olive oil cake. 

We came home with a quarter of the cake!!  It was/is delicious.

Talbot and Marcel were around and underfoot at times.

Talbot mostly lay on the floor in front of the oven keeping his eye on the beef!

Marcel lounged on the sofa looking regal.

Even though it was beginning to get a bit overcast, it was a great night for a fire.  

We sat out with beverages enjoying the fire and the night sky until after 9:30.  Now, of course, there is some not-so-nice weather in our forecast for the next day or two.  I'm guessing we will get rain rather than snow, but there is a slight chance of flurries overnight tonight.

My dentist appointment this morning was cancelled, so I've got a free morning.  There is a pile of laundry waiting to be done and I may try to get out for a walk before lunch.  Otherwise, it looks like a good day for knitting, stitching and reading.  Perfection!

Cheers to a new week ahead!

Friday, February 9, 2024

Finally Friday! 2/9/24

 Good Morning!

I will admit to being a tad groggy this morning.  Last night was another one of those nights where sleep was a bit elusive.  One thing I noticed was that I was hungry!  Yes, hungry at 2 a.m.  My stomach was actually growling.  (No, I did not get up and have a snack.  I told my stomach to shut up and I rolled over.)  And, now at 7:15 a.m. I do not feel as hungry as I did at 2 a.m.  I am sipping coffee and trying to clear the cobwebs from my brain and eyes.

Yesterday wasn't quite as sunny as the day before, but it was a little bit warmer and I did get out for a walk on the trail by the canal.  Such a pretty place - water on both sides of the trail.  The canal on one side and the Schuylkill River on the other.  No sign of a blue heron (much to my disappointment) and only a couple of ducks and maybe 3-4 geese.  Usually there are lots of ducks and geese.  Not sure where everyone was.  

Happily I did see one lone turtle.

I was happy to see him/her as it was unexpected.  The air is still pretty chilly and my guess is that all this guy's relatives and friends didn't think it was warm enough to come up and bask for a bit.  A little later in the year there will be a lot of turtles to be seen in the canal.

My plan today is to get out and walk in a couple of hours.  I have a conference call at 1:30 which would interfere with walking after lunch.  Not sure yet where I will walk.  Yesterday's trail was wetter than I expected, so I'm guessing the River Trail wold be fairly muddy.  I may go back to the paved trail along the Perkiomen Creek in Oaks.

I found something new to try at Trader Joe's!

I love carrot juice.  There used to be a health food restaurant near my office (30 years ago or more) and they served the best carrot juice.  I've shied away from buying it at the grocery store because it is usually fairly high in sugar.  But this one isn't too bad, plus it has turmeric in it which I love.  Anyway, highly recommend if you are in to this kind of thing.

The weekend is ahead and I'm looking forward to seeing Dee in the morning and C&M have invited us to dinner tomorrow night.  Here's hoping that your weekend is equally enjoyable~!

Thursday, February 8, 2024

A Lovely Visit 2/8/24

 Good Morning Everyone,

Thank you all for your well wishes for our little trip to DE yesterday.  We made it down and back safely.  Traffic was not nice though.  Going down, we made it in about 1.25 hours.  Not too bad, but sort of heavy traffic on the Blue Route and 95.  What we noticed though was that traffic in the opposite direction has really backed up.  So, we decided on back roads coming home.

We did have a lovely, if brief, visit with my brother and sister-in-law.  Linda had bought a beautiful journal for me (covered in red leather) for a retirement present.  I think this is the journal I will use for my walks post retirement.

We also had Christmas in February!  We received some very nice gifts, among which was a collection of baking spices from Penzy's!!

Ray & Linda lived in the Pittsburgh area for years, so are familiar with Penzy's and order from them all the time.  Also, for those of you in the area, there is a wonderful Olive Oil Shop in Murraysville that they still order from.  Their oils and their balsamic vinegars are amazing - highly recommend.

Anyway, we had a wonderful lunch (homemade soup and bread fresh from the oven) and a nice visit.  Due to traffic, we wanted to get on the road no later than 2 p.m.  We did wander the backroads up to Kennet Square and Chadds Ford, finally ending up on 202 to get home.The ride home was longer, but much less stressful than 95 and the Blue Route.  We had a quiet evening (I listened to The Poisonwood Bible and did a very little knitting; Fletch was in front of the TV) and I went to bed before 10:00!

Today I need to get out some reports this morning and am hoping to walk by the canal this afternoon.  It is supposed to be another nice day (still too dark to tell right now).  Hard to believe the first week of February is over...but that means we are that much closer to SPRING!!

Wednesday, February 7, 2024

Unraveled Wednesday 2/7/24

 Good Morning!

Another chilly morning here, but again the sun should be shining later.  Yesterday was chilly but gorgeous and I actually (FINALLY) got out for a walk after lunch.  I decided to walk the paved trail in Oaks along the Perkiomen Creek.  After all the rain we've had, I was thinking the River Trail in Valley Forge might be very muddy.

Water was rushing over the dam!  And there were so many geese around - you really had to watch where you stepped.

There were some folks out and about but I didn't see too many.  Ironically, Colin's office is very close and he told me he also walked on that trail yesterday...but we never saw each other!

Colin did come for dinner and the burgers were great!  After dinner we drove over to my office.  He took the dimensions of a bookcase and will see if it works in his home office.

Now it's Wednesday and time to link up with Kat and her Merry Band of Unravelers to talk making and reading.  Progress has been made on my Route 66 sock!  I am now through the heel flap and ready to turn the heel.

Hopefully I can keep the momentum up and get this first sock finished pronto.  But, we all know how easily I am distracted by a different shiny object.  LOL

On the reading side of things more progress!  I finally finished listening to "The Heaven and Earth Grocery Store" yesterday afternoon.  What a powerful book!  My biggest roadblock to listening to books is remembering to do so!  I am so accustomed to knitting or stitching in peace and quiet that I have to make an effort to remember to listen to a book.  Last night I did start listening to "The Poisonwood Bible" - the next Read With Us selection.  I listened for an hour and am enjoying it.  I read this book decades ago and really liked it but didn't remember much.  However, it's coming back to me as I listen.

I am also reading (with my eyes) The Sweet Life in Paris by David Lebovitz.  I'm enjoying the recipes (lots of chocolate!!) more than his tale of moving to Paris.  It's not bad, just not great.

Fletch and I are continuing to read and enjoy The Ride of Her Life after dinner.  We only read 10 or so pages (and not every night), but is has been a pleasure.  We are up to the part where she made it to Philadelphia.

Well, time for me to wrap things up.  I need to wake Fletch, pour some more coffee and get ready to head down to Delaware.  Have a great Wednesday!

Tuesday, February 6, 2024

Tiny Needle Tuesday 2/6/24

 Good Morning My Friends,

It's on the chilly side here in Eastern Pa - just in the lower 20's, but once again the sun is shining and I am glad for that.

Things are looking so different in my office!  Yesterday when I arrived I first noticed that all the furniture in the lobby is gone.  When I walked into the kitchen to get a sip of water, all the tables and chairs are gone!  NONE of the furniture that we have is being moved downstairs to our new's all just being junked.  I may go over tonight with Colin to score a bookcase for him - there are tons of tall bookcases up for grabs.

Anyway, I was at the office longer than I wanted (till after 2 p.m.), but training with both people went well.  I may have another session or two with Heather, but that will be it.  Winding down!!

All that brings us to today which is Tuesday, so time for a TNT update.  I managed to stitch a little bit over the weekend on my Queen Bee.

She now has a full body, legs and antenna.  Hopefully her wings will be stitched soon.

My plan was to look in my stash and pick out a large project to start, but that did not happen yet...and probably won't until maybe the weekend.  Today I have some laundry I want to do and we will go grocery shopping (senior discount on Tuesdays!!).  Colin is going to his office and will plan to come to dinner from there.  Sunny skies mean grilling and we will have burgers.

Tomorrow we will finally be driving down to Delaware to see my brother and his wife.  Christmas celebrations!!  Our visit with them was postponed initially because they came down with Covid at Christmas and then later postponed due to my work schedule.  Although we talk fairly regularly, we have not seen them in months, so it will be good to get together.

And right now I need to find a shawl (chilly) and pour a second cup of coffee.  Here's hoping your Tuesday unfolds peacefully and pleasantly.  Enjoy!

Monday, February 5, 2024

Weekending 2/5/24

 Good Morning All,

We had some beautifully sunny days this weekend that were so welcome!  The air is still a bit crisp - particularly in the early morning hours and late in the day, but what a difference those rays of sun make!

Thank you all for the thoughts on my too-tight sock.  I will not be re-doing it in any shape or interest.  However, my friend Carol is scheduled to come visit in early March.  She has smaller feet than me (and not the high instep that I have).  I will have her try on the sock - if it fits her and she likes it, I will knit a second one.  If not, then the toe will be stuffed with catnip and Mabel will have a gorgeous new toy!

Speaking of Mabel, Fletch and I were enjoying breakfast Sunday morning when I saw a fox trot by on the lawn RIGHT NEXT TO THE PATIO!!  By the time I stood up he was gone, but I opened the door and called for Mabel who, it turns out, was sitting on the patio right by the door.  It was like the two creatures ignored each other.  I'm sure they saw each other, but paid no mind.  Mabel did not come in - instead she stepped further out onto the patio and started rolling around on the cement.  I did step out and pick her up and brought her in, but she did not want to be in!

How was your weekend?  Mine was lovely.  Friday night I made "eggplant pizza" for dinner.

Easy-peasy and delish!  You just slice an eggplant (no need to peel), brush it with some EVOO and herbs (garlic, oregano, s&p), put a slice of tomato on top and brush again with the EVOO and herbs.  Pop it in the oven (360 degrees) for roughly 15-20 minutes.  Pull it out and put mozarella on top...drizzle with EVOO and back in the oven for another 15 minutes or so.  Quite tasty!  Fletch wanted some pepperoni on his, so I put some of that on a few of them under the cheese.  One medium sized eggplant provided dinner and some leftovers as well.

Saturday morning I met up with Dee for a few delightful hours of being together.  Dee worked on some stitching and I knit on a new sock.

Crazy Zauberball in the colorway "Route 66."  Not sure how that name came about, but a plain vanilla sock that I don't need to think about is just what the doctor ordered.

That night I made enchiladas from THIS COOKBOOK using some chicken.  I changed things up a bit adding many more veggies - some onion and bell pepper and some frozen corn.  I forgot to take a picture, but they turned out really, really good.  Again, plenty of leftovers which is nice.

I also caked up my February Sock Squad yarn.

The citrine skein did not play nice on my swift and I had to wind that skein by hand.  Nothing has been started yet, but I've decided to do some socks afterall.  I may do a heart design near the top of the cuff - but fear not - it will not be colorwork.  Rather the design will be done in purls.  Maybe, we shall see.

That won't happen today though.  I'm heading to the office in a bit to take care of a few things.  I don't know if I mentioned or not, but there is now a third person who will be taking over some of my responsibilities.  She emailed me last week asking if we could find some time together to review some of the reports I do as she is not familiar with them.  And, I have a conference call at 11:30, so will do that at the office.  A stop at Trader Joe's will happen as well to pick up a few things.

Time to pour another cup of coffee, wake up Fletch and dry my hair.  Hope your week is off to a great start!

Friday, February 2, 2024

Well That Didn't Work Out! 2/2/24

 Well Hello and Happy Friday!

Happy Groundhog's Day too.  I wonder what Phil will predict.  And I wonder if our own Steve the Beav will make an appearance.  My guess is not.  It is cloudy and I heard gentle rain during the night.  At least it's warmer - 40 degrees this morning.

On to the title of this post.  Last night I finished the first Crescent Moon Sock:

I love it.  I love the crescent moons.  I love the two little stripes that I added before the toe decreases.  But my friends...this is the first and last Crescent Moon Sock.  I can't get it over my foot!  Yes, it goes onto the foot ok (and that toe and the stripes look so cute!), but where the crescent moons are I apparently knit extremely tightly and I cannot stretch it to go over my heel!

So...I will not be ripping it back (I do cuff down socks and there is no way I'm ripping back that entire sock.)  My guess is that I will eventually just throw it out (but I can't bring myself to do that right now).  There is not enough yarn left to make two socks, so the yarn will sit for awhile too.  I suppose I could make shortie socks, but I really don't like them and wouldn't wear them.

It's ok in the long run.  It's only yarn and it's not a life or death situation.  Am I disappointed?  Yes.  Am I angry?  No.  What would be the point?

There are still no ideas that popped into my head for the February Sock Squad yarn, so today I will find yarn in my stash and cast on for a simple pair of socks...or a shawl...or something.  I'm meeting up with Dee tomorrow and I MUST have something to knit!  LOL  And casting on while chatting with a friend is not a good idea for me...I need to have something new started today.  I have no idea what that will be, but I'll let you know another time.

Meanwhile, I do wish you all a wonderful weekend.  Here's hoping you find some fun and some joy!