Friday, December 15, 2017

Catching Up / Missed Anniversary

Hello, everyone! I hope you are all taking time to enjoy the season and not letting too much stress invade your life. I know some of us have had snow --  some more than others. I'm trying hard not to give in to my hibernation instincts. 😉

Another successful school semester has come to an end, and just in time. A requirement of my Group Dynamics and Communication class was drafting a proposal for a psychoeducation group and then leading that group. Doing group therapy is exhausting! Thankfully, the participants were an easygoing, good bunch of people.

I appreciate everyone's concern and kind words on my Starbuck's experience. Those burns were no joke but, thankfully, they have pretty much healed. Scars remain, but I'm sure they will fade over time.

Something I missed blogging about was my thirtieth wedding anniversary this past March (oops, almost time for another one). I feel very blessed to have my husband. He is one of the kindest people I know and best of all he balances me out. I can't imagine life without him.

I stitched the Sweetheart Pincushion from the Blackbird Designs My Dear Hearts booklet for our anniversary. I don't know how I will finish it, but it won't be a pincushion. 🙂

Another person I can't imagine life without, my daughter. We recently spent a day shopping for antiques or junk as my husband likes to say. This was the scene as we left the shop. It was such a pretty sunset not captured very well in this photo.

After this, we stopped by a local winery that makes the only Merlot I can drink. Of course, I came home with a couple of bottles. A beautiful day all the way around!

And finally, an update on Bernie. After nursing him through his broken leg, surgeries, and just for added fun, an intestinal parasite, here he is -- my little helper. Don't they all love to help with the changing of sheets? I love everything about him especially his sweet stripes!

Until next time I hope you are finding time to spend with those you love. Take care, everyone!

Monday, November 20, 2017


I recently had a very traumatic and painful (putting it mildly) experience with a cup of hot tea from Starbucks.

I've heard many stories about people spilling their McDonald's coffee or Starbuck's coffee in their laps and thought well, of course, they should know it's hot, and they should be careful. But I think the temperature of these beverages goes way beyond hot as in scalding. I felt sure that my skin must be melting right off of my body. Why does anything need to be that temperature!?.

I'm always very careful when handling a hot drink, but I think there was something wrong with the cup - it was so flimsy. I kept it and compared it with the cup from McDonald's the next day, and it was definitely not as sturdy.

The cup collapsed inward, the lid came off, and the tea went all over my hand, arm, and leg. Fortunately, my husband was driving because I'm sure I would have had an accident. I have never felt pain like that. I ended up with blisters anywhere the tea went and burns that are still somewhat painful. Obviously, I have no urge to revisit Starbucks at least for now - I'm really going to miss their hot chocolate!

But, the experience led me to look for alternatives, and I found several wonderful ones.

The Young Bean

The coffee is excellent as is the ambiance.

A beautiful tin ceiling.

Delicious baked goods!

And of course, plenty of beverages to choose from.

I didn't take a photo, but there is even a bookcase full of books in one corner!

Traders Cove Coffee Shop

This one has the added benefit of being located in Old New Castle - one of my favorite places to wander around. And it was a perfect fall day for a visit.

Located down a typical walkway.

I love this quote over the window from William Penn!

A very tasty quiche!

And of course, no visit to Old New Castle would be complete without a walk.

I hope everyone can find time in your busy schedules to enjoy a favorite beverage and maybe even discover an alternative to the more well-known coffee places in your area!

I would also like to wish those who observe Thanksgiving a very blessed day full of good food and happy times with family and friends!

Friday, November 3, 2017

Down The Ravelry Rabbit Hole

If I had blazing knitting skills some of the things I would love to knit are:

Aileas by Isabell Kraemer - I love the details.

Laika by Isabell Kramer - this might actually be in my skill set.

Ok, really, let's just say anything by Isabell Kramer.

Freia Frost by Trin-Annelie - minus the fringe/tassels.

2 days 1 night by Regina Moessmer

Kindling Mitts by Helen Stewart

Bleached by Amy Miller

Dawe by Amy Miller

Vanderbilt by Amy Miller

And again, I want to knit everything Amy Miller has designed - ha ha!

Seriously, Ravelry can be a dangerous place to visit but so much fun to dream and escape for awhile!

I finally finished Circumnavigate by Heidi Kirrmaier.

This piece marked a turning point for me. I made so many mistakes - just distracted and not paying attention I guess. I forced myself to make an effort to fix rather than rip the whole thing out and begin again. I certainly did that enough in the beginning when it kept ending up twisted.

It's quite possible that everything isn't perfect, but I can't see it. 😉 Now I just need to figure out how to block it.

I'm currently knitting Stella. Nice mindless, relaxing knitting which is much needed right now.

Hope everyone is doing well and enjoying some beautiful fall scenery!

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Hello Everyone

I just wanted to take a few minutes to say that I have missed checking in with all of you. After a lot of self-examination, I decided to change my major - ha, ha, sounds like I'm twenty instead of fifty-five but in my opinion, it is never too late to make a change. That means taking a full class load so that I can graduate next fall possibly (hopefully) next summer. I've made the switch to human services and am very excited about all of the possibilities. For me, it isn't about making money it is about doing something I feel passionate about. As a result, there hasn't been a lot of me time.

I joined the summer book bingo group informally, not looking to win just to join for fun. Sadly, I didn't accomplish as much pleasure reading as I would have liked.

Blurbed by someone you admire - To The Bright Edge of the World 4 stars (probably more like 5)
Recommended by a family member - Girl in the Dark 3 stars
Alternate history - The Eyre Affair 4 stars (I made out better listening rather than reading)
Thriller - Defending Jacob 5 stars
Biography of a royal - The Romanov Sisters: The Lost Lives of the Daughters of Nicholas and         Alexandra 4 stars
Banned in the US - The Color Purple 4 stars
Collection of essays - Essays After Eighty 5 stars
Bird or animal on the cover - Magpie Murders 4 stars
Written under a pseudonym - The Clue of the Dancing Puppet 5 stars (because my summer isn't complete without Nancy Drew)
Graphic novel - Blankets 3 stars
Originally published in the 21st century - Water for Elephants 5 stars

I may not have accomplished much reading, but I enjoyed what I did read.

Another significant life change - adding a new member to the family.

Yes, he (Bernie) makes number five, and that is the very limit! He was brought into the veterinary practice my daughter works at by someone who found him on a very busy Route 1. They think he was thrown from a car. The poor little guy has a broken leg and required some very expensive surgery with more to come in the future. As a result, he has to be confined for six to eight weeks (not easy with a kitten). Although he is supposedly my son's cat - ha, ha, I'm the one giving the pain medicine, etc. but I don't mind. For all he has been through, he has the sweetest, most loving personality. He is quite the cuddle bug and a great stress reliever.

I hope to be able to catch up on my blog reading over the next several days. Hope you all had a wonderful summer and I hope to be back soon. Until next time, take care!

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Whatever's Good For Your Soul|Book Bingo

Life has taken some interesting turns, and in reflecting and taking stock I've been trying to sort out what is important from what isn't...well, I didn't think blogging was all that important. Until my son said that it is a part of me that will always be around - I guess so long as Blogger is around. So in my quest for encouragement...I seem to be into pithy sayings lately, and this is one of my favorites by Lizzie Kate

Reading fits that criteria. And while I'm not sure how this summer is going to go, I couldn't pass up the chance to join summer book bingo again this year. I believe summer book bingo began with Books on the Nightstand (sadly no longer doing podcasts) but, Mary is very kindly carrying on with it (thank you, Mary!!!). She has done an excellent job in coming up with a wide range of categories, and I'm very excited about the card I got.

I may try something new this year and make my selections as I go along although, I do have a few books I want to read this summer and believe they will fit with some of these categories. I have very fond memories of spending my summer vacation from school reading, and while I don't get a summer vacation anymore, I still think reading and summer just go together. 

And even though I'm pretty sure this will bring out the hateful person that loves to send me nasty emails - my latest bookstore acquisitions. Books bring me joy, and that is really the only thing I need to say. 😉

Lola has found what brings her joy - sunning her dusty head after a busy morning of bird and squirrel watching.

Hope you are finding things that bring you joy! Until next time, take care.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

February Happenings / dies Valentini Interrupit

February is a short month, and it seems most of it has been taken up by illness. My husband came down with something that wasn't the flu and was different from a cold so a mystery. It's still hanging on although he has gone back to work. I've been having some episodes of low blood sugar some quite scary. As in not being able to coordinate my movements. So a doctor's appointment is in my future. 

It doesn't feel like I've accomplished very much since my last post. Multiple trips up and down the stairs nursing the baby husband, walking around in a fog of Lysol fumes and the normal daily responsibilities -- well I sat down in the evenings to work on something and found myself waking hours later without having taken one stitch. 

I managed to clear the cobwebs and prop my eyes open here and there and finally finished Love & Be Loved by With Thy Needle & Thread. Looking at all of Brenda's market releases -- oh my goodness! 😜

And another tiny finish Hope part of the Little Sheep Virtue series by Little House Needleworks. I'm planning on stitching them together around a centerpiece. So in trying to center things and work things out, I've started parts of some of the other designs. 

Sheep seem to be a theme. I thought these were cute and I love the little houses, too. 

Valentine's Day is not a big event in our house. And even though I don't like the big mess that comes with baking nor the adventures (like things catching on fire etc.), in honor of Valentines Day and my husband's birthday, I thought I would give this recipe a try. I believe it was the allure of the jimmies. And they were pretty good! But 24 of them for three people? 😳

If you are interested in the recipe and maybe a few extra pounds...

We've been enjoying some unusually warm weather and oh, that gorgeous sunshine -- perfect for walking off any extra pounds. I think there might be a payback in the future (we've had some of our biggest snowfalls in March), but it's hard to think about that right now. 

Hopefully, the weather has been just as beautiful in your neck of the woods! Thanks for reading along and until next time take care!

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Things Made of Yarn / Reading

I've been more interested in knitting and crocheting than stitching lately. It seems like everything I want to stitch involves fiddling with colors and fabric choices and I just haven't felt like making an effort. I think I'm in a mid-winter funk. 

I've been working on three things. My favorite (despite my troubles with it) being Circumnavigate. I can't believe I started over three times on this. No matter how careful I was it ended up twisted, but I persevered and celebrated each row that was knit without being twisted. The yarn is so soft, and I love the color (of course blue is a favorite) and color name -- Cloudy Sky!

Next is the Churchmouse Vintage Crocheted Blanket. This blanket originally started out as a Christmas gift for my sister but has become a present for her April birthday. I can be more mindless with crocheting than knitting, so this has probably been the most relaxing - very good to work on right before bed. 

And finally the Best Friend Scarf -- you've seen this before, and I don't know you may be seeing it forever because it seems to be the endless project. I keep saying "If it's the last thing I do I'm going to finish this thing!" and it may very well be the last thing I do at this rate. : ) Although it didn't make it for the intended Christmas gift I was hoping to make it for my daughter's birthday which is on Monday -- ha ha! I'm pretty sure it will be quite a while before I knit another scarf. And do you notice a pattern?? I'm terrible at deadline knitting/crocheting!

I'm hoping to possibly, maybe knit a sweater this year. Mary was kind enough to provide some helpful links, and I think I may have narrowed it down to two. Either the Go-To Cardigan or the Featherweight Cardigan. I had downloaded the pattern for the Featherweight Cardigan a while ago, and it seems doable -- emphasis on seems. It's not the stitches I have a problem with but sometimes interpreting what the pattern is asking me to do so we will see.

I'm still not settled on a reading plan for the year. I'm currently reading three books -- The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History which I'm finding very hard to put down. Anna Karenina which I'm enjoying now that I'm more accustomed to the writing style and The Plague of Doves.

We had some wild weather yesterday - a nor'easter which brought some very scary winds that have lingered into today although thankfully not quite as brisk. I find the wind to be a little unsettling as does Lola. She has been very wary -- sure someone is trying to come in the door. : ) At least I caught her upright for a change. It seems she spends most of her time asleep - in the linen closet.


Well, this post ended up being a lot longer than I intended so until next time -- wishing you peace!

p.s. I think spring is only about 55 days away!

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

New Year / New Beginnings

Happy New Year??? We ushered in the new year a little chilly. Our heater decided that it didn't want to spend 2017 with us and went to that big appliance graveyard in the sky. It has given us problems here and there over the last few years, so it wasn't a complete surprise. It didn't make writing that huge check that began with an eight any easier, though. 

To make sure the technicians had enough working room, we had to do quite a bit of rearranging and sorting out - which I found strangely energizing. Some of that energy carried over into a good sort out of my stitching, sewing, reading, etc. room. I didn't realize how energy sapping that room had become because of the clutter and messiness. Anyway, all of this clearing and sorting delayed any stitching or other fun endeavors until a few days after the new year. But a new year is all about new beginnings - so I'm off to a good start.

While goals can certainly be a good thing, I'm thinking of steering clear of them this year. I do have some loose plans - more about them at a later date. 

I'm also going to be fighting against my tendency to jump on bandwagons and join challenges, _____-a-thons, SALs, KALs, etc. I'm attracted to them like a moth to a flame, and they seldom end well (as in not finishing). Although I'm sure there will be exceptions. : ) 

So far as the Goodreads challenge - I'm still on the fence about it - maybe? I am working on a list of books I would like to read this year so we will see. I did finally finish The Goldfinch which I always want to call The Nightingale. I love Donna Tartt's writing style and could have given that a five-star rating but I didn't particularly care for the characters and all of the drugs/wasted potential - very sad.

This is becoming very wordy, so onto a few stitching finishes! 

The Christmas Bird
With Thy Needle & Thread

The Bird Collection Part III
Heartstring Samplery

My blog may be changing a little. I've never really thought of it as an online journal before or really as anything but a place to put stitching/book related things but I'm thinking of including other things here as well. I appreciate each and every one of you who stops by, and I always appreciate your comments, so I hope whatever my blog becomes in the new year you will continue to visit and maybe even leave a comment.

Hope everyone's new year has gotten off to a good start!

P.S. Since I started this post we have had our oven catch on fire, so I think we will be shopping for a new stove in the next few days. Let's hope that is the end of our appliance adventures for a while.