Wednesday, May 28, 2014


Fish!  We caught fish!  The husband and I each caught our trout limit this morning in a bit over an hour in a lake twenty minutes from our house.  We kept the biggest of the eight, six total were brought home.  They will be fried up in a pan outdoors over a grill fire for dinner tonight.

This is a swordfish.  I am on the left and Kathy is on the right, with the fish in the middle, in case you wondered. That picture was taken years ago when we had a girls' weekend in Cabo San Lucas and reminds me of our great vacation.  And no, we did not catch that sailfish.  We just rode on others' fishing experiences.  

And lastly, more painting on the fence.  Think maybe we are through with this effort.  It is getting too hot to paint outside anymore; we are expecting 91 degrees F today.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Done and Done

Finally.  Finished the Shetland Lace Shawl #2 in record time to participate in Fiber Arts Friday blog-along.

Pictures are not great, but the shawl itself is different in that it is made from 100% organic linen from Quince & Co..  It softened up after soaking and blocking, although it was not blocked to points since I will wear it around my neck and those points would not show anyway. So why bother? is the motto of the day.

Here is the model wearing this shawl found in Allen and Budd's Wrap Style, but made in  wool.

Evelyn Clark's ebook looks interesting.  She has this pattern and others at that link.

Go here to see other finished objects this week.

PS: Son in law Jack took this picture yesterday.  Awesome, and not in the sense that kids say it today.  Jack captured God's presence right there in York, South Carolina after a spring rain storm.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014


After six weeks of waiting, I called Knit Picks today to check on a back order of Swish yarn this morning. Their back order was due on May 15, but I had not received an email notifying me it was in stock. Going back to March, while knitting up the Delancey Cardigan, I was just five rows short of completion on the button band when the last of the yarn was used up.  So I immediately went online to order another skein, only to learn it was on back order.  The sweater was begun in January, was knitted through March, and now likely will not be completed until June.  It is like an albatross on my back, but the end seems to be in sight now.

Progress on the Shetland Lace Shawl: have finished the body of the shawl and am on to the edging!  I have joined these groups on Ravelry, all favorites since my trip to Shetland: Shetland Textile Museum, Jamieson & Smith Lovers and the Shetland Guild... This is my second Shetland Lace Shawl and it knits up beautifully.

This will continue to be my work in progress tomorrow, Wednesday.  Lots of people are joining in, and it is always fun to see what others are doing.  THIS is the link.

Back to Shetland.  Remember Ann Cleeves, the author I have talked about before on this post?  Am now reading her latest in the Shetland series, Dead Water.  The main character, Detective Perez, has a White Wife beer, brewed on Unst at the Valhalla Brewery.  It made me smile to know I had also imbibed of that brand of beer while learning the story of the mysterious slaying of the woman for whom the beer was named. Love that beer!  Love Cleeves!

Spring means a new haircut! I was going for the Dame Judi Dench look, but still need the hair to go white.

The Judi look:

The Nancy look:

How is your spring going?

Saturday, May 10, 2014

More Flowers on Fencing

Now we have both the east and the west back yard fences painted with flowers, just in case the seedlings do not prove viable and flowers won't grow according to plan.

Above is the east side yard fencing, under a much pruned lilac.  We have had that lilac many years, and it really needed branches culled, especially around its base.  Out came the clippers, then the saw, and finally the chain saw.  The lilac was denuded, making the fence bare.  A bit of decoration was in order, so this time I added a spider and a cobweb to some echinacea flower leaves and petals.  The bee was cautioned about the spider web across the way.


The Vogue Shawl was completely taken apart and the linen yarn rewound.  It just did not seem to be working, plus I found a huge mistake I had knitted into the pattern way back when. Thoroughly unsatisfactory, so it was dismantled in short order.

The organic linen was re-purposed into the start of another Shetland Lace Shawl, and the linen fiber is behaving much better with this pattern.  So far, I am about 10 percent through it, with mistakes at a minimum.  The first Shetland shawl turned out well, so fingers are crossed that this one will come up to muster.


Blue iris were added to the back, thanks to a friend's pruning hers back.

Columbines are blooming.  This week has been very cool and the night temperatures are still going down into the 40's, so I have not yet put out the seedlings.  But I purchased one dozen geraniums and planted them this week. Several years ago I was getting three dozen geraniums for patio pots, but am cutting down this year. Those yellow iris are doing their duty and continuing with profuse blooms.  The amaryllis have been put out, a new black-eyed susan root and day lily roots have been planted, and the husband planted a lettuce variety, cilantro, corn, tomatoes and cucumbers, along with zucchini.  The basil that was planted last week, along with a rosemary plant, are perking up, and the cilantro is 1/2 inch in height.  We added a garden bench to sit under a Japanese maple tree for ornamental purposes.  We planted this tree about eight trees ago and placed the ashes of our sweet black dog, Grace, under this tree, beneath a statue of St. Frances.

This area is now called a "bethel," thanks to learning a new word from Zana this week on Words With Friends.

Cooking & Domestic Duties

New recipes this week include a flour less chocolate cake, similar to this one. This is for Mother's Day brunch, so will get busy on it in  a few hours.  Except the recipe I am using (again, thanks to Natalie) calls for baking it in a 7" spring form pan in a crock pot sans water in the bottom. Also, Natalie insists that the cacao percentage be over 60%, as good old Hershey's just will not do for this decadent dessert.  A raspberry sauce goes atop.  It keeps in the fridge for two weeks, so the left overs will be good on ice cream.

We have clean windows as of yesterday, as our friendly young men who run "First Impressions" did a great job of getting the dust and dirt off the insides and outsides.  The cleaning of windows necessitated the taking down of the accordian pleated cellular blinds, two that were broken and needed replacement.  After 16 years in this house, one of those blinds has been repaired twice, but enough is enough.  This time Home Depot will be my default seller, and I'll get vertical wooden blinds instead of the cellular type.


Powering through Vera, almost through Season II.  Love this British detective series!  Ann Cleeves wrote this series, and since I have read all her books save the most recent one on my Kindle, it is no wonder this is a favorite.


We got a new car this week, a Honda Civic with all the goodies on new cars. It is silver in color and I love it.  My husband purchased a 2013 Honda Sport Fit and really likes his, so now two little Hondas share garage space.  I don't drive out of town very much, but the Civic handles the highway well and has plenty of zoom.

My next travel will be to Barcelona, Spain in October for a Scrabble transatlantic cruise directed by friends Barbara and Larry.  Remember when Barbara celebrated her 30th year of directing play a few months ago?

That's my update.  Tell me yours!

Monday, May 5, 2014

Four & Twenty Blackbirds

... baked in a pie

So goes the nursery rhyme.  Political satire?  Recruitment song for pirating?  Or just a nursery rhyme?  Any way you look at it, we all know the lyrics (or at least some of the lyrics).

Here is a pie bird, wrangled from a friend.

Ceramic pie bird, hollow from top to bottom to allow steam to escape

Pie bird filling, from this recipe by Tracy in Australia.  When I looked at the ingredients listed, she calls for one red capsicum.  Yes, indeed, she means one red pepper.

Chicken cooked in a pie shell, complete with pie bird for venting steam.

Pretty tasty, almost as good as a Marie Calendar chicken pot pie, but with far fewer calories. Pie birds make a great gift for the culinary inclined; mine is named Natalie and sits on the kitchen window shelf when not in a pie.

PS: remove it prior to cutting your pie.