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November 2013

Words on Some Office Supplies

Yesterday when I arrived at work, the office supplies I had requested were stacked on my desk.


Not only fast and exactly the type of classification folders I wanted (black with a red spine. . . because office supplies should be kind of fun).


Also these words . . .

A Minority/Women Owned Business Enterprise


Sustainable Forestry Initiative

Even better!

Thanks, Mary (Office Manager Extraordinaire).

Danger Zone


Oh, we are treading in dangerous waters this week for Ten on Tuesday.  Dangerous waters, indeed.

Yes, my friends, this week Carole has us thinking about sweater-knitting.

If I were wise, I would just back away from this one.

Just turn my head and ignore the topic altogether.

For sweater-knitting . . . is my great weakness.

But.  I cannot look away.


(Two projects; neither a sweater.)


Here goes.

Five sweaters/five yarns to knit them with.


  1. Greenwood.  (I am wanting to cast on for this one in a powerful way.  Right. Now.)
  2. Miss Babs Yowza - Whatta Skein.  (It's right there.  In. My. Stash.)
  3. Warm Wishes.  (I wish I had already knit this one, because I want to wear it today.)
  4. madeline tosh vintage.  (Also right there.  In. My. Stash.)
  5. Antrim.  (I would SO wear this as a layering piece.  Want. It. Now.)
  6. Jo Sharp Silkroad Aran Tweed.  (I happen to have a nice stash of this lovely yarn.  Enough for this.  Like . . . what am I waiting for????)
  7. Tuesday's Child.  (Carol Sunday's designs just inspire me.)
  8. Sunday Knits Nirvana.  (It's all in the name.  Nirvana.  Y'know?)
  9. Ravello.  (How fun is THIS sweater?)
  10. Woolen Rabbit ANYTHING.  (I think I'll have Kim help me choose both yarn and colors for this one!)

And now . . . I can't think of anything but sweaters!  (See?  Danger zone!)


Join the fun!  Sign up for Ten on Tuesday here.


Not Quite What I Expected. . . But With a Silver Lining for Your Trouble

I was supposed to run a 5K yesterday.

And that would, presumably, lead to an inspirational blog post about surprises and goals and crazy things we do as we get older.




Tornado watch trumps 5K.  Ten minutes before the start.  (I was pretty grumpy.  I was already there and all, y'know?)

I did run it anyway.  But on the track at my gym.  (Nice and dry and tornado-free.)  I did quite well.  So there.


Since things didn't quite turn out the way I'd planned (anyway you look at it), how about a silver lining?

Last week, I mentioned my Mom's Lemon Cheese Salad, a staple at our Thanksgiving dinners for decades.  Because several of you have asked for the recipe, my Mom was happy to oblige! 

Here it is:  my Mom's tried and true Lemon Cheese Salad!

Screen Shot 2013-11-17 at 8.12.03 PM

It is so good.


It's basic and rather plain looking.  My Mom recommends that you "jazz it up" a bit if you serve it at an event like a potluck -- otherwise people don't necessarily dig in!  (But when they do, they'll usually want more!)  (My note:  it mixes GREAT with cranberry sauces of all types.)

And there you have it!  A silver lining . . . in a tornado watch.



Sundays are for Poetry


I stepped from plank to plank

by Emily Dickinson

I stepped from plank to plank
A slow and cautious way;
The stars about my head I felt,
About my feet the sea.

I knew not but the next
Would be my final inch.
This gave me that precarious gait
Some call experience.

(included in She Walks in Beauty: A Woman's Journey Through Poems, selected by Caroline Kennedy)

Saturdays are for Puppies: Impromtu Garden Design

As a gardener, I'm always plotting and scheming how to create MORE GARDEN in my yard.

I consider new beds and borders.

I consider expanding existing beds and borders.

And now, thanks to Jo-Jo and her eXtreme tearing around, I have a partner in my quest to create MORE GARDEN.

For example, Jo-Jo has shown me just where I should expand my kitchen garden.


And she's also created entire new lines for my shade border on the north side of the house. 


I've actually been contemplating both of those expansions for a couple of years now.

Thanks to Jo-Jo, I know JUST what to do!

(Tom calls her my "agent.")

Just a Mirror for the Sun

Soundtrack for today . . .


Over a year ago now . . . way back to September 0f 2012 . . . I traveled to Salt Lake City and had a wonderful visit with Margene.  I got to meet Carole.  And Cheryl.  And Suzy.  We had a fabulous time.


During our visit, Margene took Carole and I yarn shopping. 


Carole found it first.

A little kit to make the popular "Leftie" pattern.

I copied Carole, and bought one for myself.

And then we coerced Margene into picking one up for herself.

Carole finished hers long ago.  Mine languished for over a year.  And I think Margene opted out, in the end.

It wasn't my favorite knit ever, that's for sure!  It was somewhat tedious.  Fussy short-rows.  Lots of ends to weave in.  That sort of thing.


But, now that it's finished, I'm liking it more and more.

What a great reminder of a wonderful weekend in a beautiful place and a terrific visit with friends!


Just a mirror for the sun!


Ravelry details here.

Accidents Will Happen

I got this text yesterday from Brian. . .




He had a bit of a problem when he did his laundry.*


Such a sad face.

(Such a sad little hat.)


He wants a replacement.  Slouchy.  Basic.

Any suggestions?

(Click here to see the non-felted version.)


*  I'm so pleased that he said, "I accidentally felted my hat."  Only a knitter's kid would say that.  (Non-knitter's kids would say, "My hat shrunk!")

**  The fact that he actually did laundry also pleases me.



On the Side


Of all holidays, I like Thanksgiving best!  The emphasis of the holiday is on . . . being thankful, gathering together, and FOOD!  Simple as that!


I love planning the Thanksgiving feast each year.  I like adding new recipes from time to time -- but there are some deeply held Thanksgiving traditions in my family . . . especially when it comes to food!

While the turkey is always the star of the show (and Tom is always the Turkey Master at our house) . . .


(here he is, prepping last year's bird)

there are many family favorites when it comes to the side dishes.  Our top ten wouldn't-be-Thanksgiving-without-'em favorites:


  1. Stuffing (maybe the best part of the feast; I tried a new stuffing recipe three years ago and really shook things up; people are adjusting)
  2. Sweet potatoes (with pecans and coconut; Erin's favorite)
  3. Cranberries (I especially like this cranberry-cherry-walnut-chutney recipe I've been making for years)
  4. Mashed potatoes (my mom has them down to a science; these are Brian's favorite)
  5. with Gravy (Tom is also the Gravy Master; chemists are so handy in the kitchen!)
  6. My mom's Lemon Cheese Salad (a Thanksgiving tradition for nearly 50 years; I can't remember a Thanksgiving without it)
  7. Roasted green beans (plain; with salt and plenty of pepper)
  8. Flaky dinner rolls (although I'm usually too full to eat one)
  9. Pumpkin pie (with a dollop of real whipping cream)
  10. And a perfect glass of wine (Oh, c'mon. . . it's a side. . .)


Oh, how I love Thanksgiving!

How about YOU?  What are your favorite Thanksgiving side dishes?


Join the fun!  Sign up for Ten on Tuesday here.


A Sunday Lament on Monday Morning: A Riff

  • Ahhhhhh.  Sunday.  The whole day lays ahead.  Unstructured.
  • (She said upon awakening.)
  • Coffee.
  • Dogs.
  • Let's make a list of all the things we want to do today.
  • (She said outloud.  To the dogs.) 
  • (Because the other human in the house was still asleep.)
  • Plan the week's menus.
  • Make a grocery list.
  • Start the laundry.
  • Shopping.
  • Get next week . . .
  • (a really busy one, she remembered)
  • Under control and planned out on the calendar.
  • (And it's not even 10:00 yet!)
  • Plan the week's blog posts.
  • Heck.  Plan the month's blog posts.
  • (Why stop there?  Let's plan out the YEAR!!!)
  • Organize the desk.
  • Catch up the filing.
  • Pay the bills.
  • (3:30?  Already?)
  • Organize the photos!
  • Plan the Thanksgiving menu!
  • (Why stop there?  Let's plan out CHRISTMAS!!!)
  • Renew the license plates.
  • Chop the vegetables.
  • Hold the ladder for Tom.
  • (Why stop there?  Let's renew our passport!)
  • Pack away the Halloween that's still sitting there on the dining room table.
  • And fill the empty spaces with turkeys and cornucopias and fresh squash.
  • (DEFINITELY toss the rotting squash in the centerpiece.  Gross.)
  • Go for a run.
  • (Hurry!  Before it gets dark!)
  • Walk the dogs.
  • (Dark now.  Don't forget the headlamp!)
  • Dinner.
  • Last of the laundry.
  • Load the dishwasher.
  • (Where did the day go????)
  • (It's dark.)
  • (It's late.)
  • (I didn't get to HALF the things on my list!!!)
  • (Maybe because I planned 48 hours worth of activity . . . for a 16 hour day?)
  • And now. 
  • Monday.
  • (Maybe next week I'll create a more realistic list.)
  • (But . . . probably not.)