Saturday, December 1, 2012

Beginning to look a lot like Christmas......

Well, the tree is up and decorated for the second time! Yes, we did not follow the directions exactly for the swivel tree stand and almost lost the whole thing. However, we all survived. We like to decorate early so that we can actually enjoy the season and what it means. It also takes us longer. This year I added some glitter houses on the Welsh cupboard where my faux chocolate Santa Claus lives with the Majolica. My friend Patti gave me this a few years back when my life was not very happy and more than one person has tried to take a bite out of him! Thank you Patti.

I don't have room for a lot of collections but I do have a few Byers Carolers that live in a pine cupboard for the holidays.

When I first met Jack, it was almost time for me to go back to Florida. One day we took a trip to North Conway and went into the Christmas Loft. We saw a beautiful tree that he wanted to buy if I would spend Christmas in Maine with him. I agreed and he bought me a music box which I treasure. We had a good Christmas that year and now spend them in Florida.

So there are flowers - both real and faux - around the house.

The Santa wall hanging is hung. I made this for Jack on out first Christmas in Florida. It has a gazillion stitches. Thank goodness for the embroidery machine.

The embroidery machine is making lace icicles. The bread machine is making bread. I shall soon be knitting.
I hope you are having a peaceful day.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

This time of the year

I love this time of the year. I have such wonderful memories of family holidays and especially the menus for each one. To this day I have almost the same dishes. Yesterday I made Gram's Date and Nut Bread. This was always served at Thanksgiving with a generous slathering of cream cheese. But what is really special about this picture is that the granddaughter made the grandmother's recipe and took the loaves out of the oven with potholders made by her granddaughter.

Gram’s Date and Nut Bread

1 ½ cups boiling water
8 ounce dates chopped
1 ½ cups sugar
2 T butter, melted
1 egg, slightly beaten
2 t baking soda
3 cups flour
¼ t salt
1 t vanilla
1 cup chopped walnuts

Pour water over dates and let the mixture cool. Cream sugar and butter. Add egg and mix. Dissolve baking soda in dates and water mixture.  Add  this mixture, flour, salt and vanilla. Stir in chopped nuts. Bake in a preheated 350º oven for 60 minutes. Makes 2 loaves. You can print recipe from here.

I make 4 smaller loaves and bake for about 45 minutes. Test center with cake tester for doneness.

We shall have 2 Thanksgivings with friends but Jack and I will cook a dinner for us on Monday so that we can have leftovers. I will cook a turkey breast which will be served with stuffing, gravy, cranberry sauce, turnip and creamed onions. I buy gravy in a jar and add a good glug of Marsala or Madeira. With the leftovers we will make a casserole shared by Rachel Ray a few years back during the Thanksgiving parade on TV. We are not having potatoes with our dinner but we shall have some with the casserole. To make this casserole which is not unlike a Shepherd's pie, layer the stuffing, meat, cranberry sauce, onions and leftover vegetables. Pour gravy over this mixture and top with mashed potatoes. Dot with butter and salt and pepper to taste. I shake paprika on top for a little color. Bake at 350º until done. The timing will depend on the temperature of the ingredients but I usually plan about 45 minutes.

We wish you all a wonderful holiday filled with family and happy memories. Jack and I will miss being with our families but we know that they will be surrounded by family and friends and, hopefully, memories of holidays gone by.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Pinking it up and more!

A touch of pink on this old basket from Flowerbed Farm. I did not buy it but I did admire it. So it is another Pink Saturday and I am joining Beverly at How Sweet the Sound after a long absence. Beverly asked about our Autumns and our plans for the weekend.

Well, I am going to enjoy the weekend. We are almost settled for the months to come and that is a big job. And I am going to knit and visit blogs and play with my pictures. We are fighting colds.

I like the posterize effect. I hope to join Vee's Notecard party this month. You can read more about it here.

New socks are in the making. These I shall take to knitting because I can talk and laugh at the same time. There is a lot of talking and laughing at A Good Yarn. You can visit their store here and if you are in the area be sure to stop by and wish them Happy Anniversary. 3 years! What a contribution this store has made to the knitting community.

Next week I hope to get the embroidery machine going in Santa's workshop in my studio/office/guest bedroom. Jack is making his famous chili so if we do get these colds, we will be all set for meals.

Hope everyone has a good week.

Happy Pink Saturday!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Back in Florida

When we left, there was color everywhere. The next day there was Sandy starting to make herself known.We were fortunate to have no damage. My heart goes out to those who had damage and are still working there way out of it. I grew up in New Jersey and the damage in my hometown was considerable.

This has been an odd summer with the various climates. The weather has been odd and the political climate has been quite contentious. We have voted and I hope everyone will too. So enough of that.

Coming back to my house is a change from the cabin. When we met Jack had his house and I had mine. And then we rented the cabin for the summer....Jack's house is 2 miles up the road from the cabin. We spent a bit of time there this summer as the gray days in the cabin made for "cabin fever". I am getting older.....

I was glad to see my "stuff". One of the first things I went for was a latte. I am and always have been a collector. I am running out of room but could not resist this pitcher which I have added to my collection.

I now have internet that is quite speedy so I hope to participate again in blogland. I have appreciated all the visits and comments I had for the few blog posts I was able                                                                      write this summer. Planning on being a better blogger this season!

The pool heater leak should be fixed by the end of the week so that once again we can enjoy a meal on the lanai.

We ship boxes back and forth. My knitting takes two boxes! I have unpacked the boxes and actually spent some time knitting yesterday. 

I seem to have rambled a bit but it's just one of those early mornings. Hope everyone has a wonderful day!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Santa's Workshop

I found this on Facebook and could not resist.

It has been a different summer. I have shared my disappointment in my internet connection and we shall remedy that next year but for the next two weeks I am just going to connect and if it costs more, so be it. I have missed playing with photographs and blogging!

So I have been knitting with Christmas in mind. Judy's Colors has a website that I would urge my knitting friends to visit. Her story is a wonderful one about a house with family history and the need for a special Christmas stocking and how a business grew.

My first effort was not successful. In my haste to begin the knitting, I chose the wrong size needles and of course ran out of yarn as the needles were the wrong size. I had never really done 2 color knitting so this was my practice piece. I emailed Judy that there was not enough yarn. She graciously sent me more and stressed the importance of gauge. So I shall redo this one.

My second effort was a bit better. I like the Latvian Braiding and the knit on i-cord. These additions with the patterns give texture and depth to the stockings.

I love the yarns. You can buy her patterns or kits. I chose the kits.

Then it was on to Jack's. The name of this pattern is Jester - hmmmmn.

My pattern is Ms. Claus and is on the right. I am just starting the foot. The rest of the stockings shall not be photographed at this point!

I am looking forward to going south. The workshop shall be going full force then!
See you in a couple of weeks!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

My summer vacation.....

These stitch markers belonged to my mother. She was a beautiful knitter. I found them in a box of her needles not long ago. She was most organized and only had one set of each size. I, on the other hand, have many duplicates. Hers are straight needles and I only use circular now but I shall save them and in the meantime use her markers.

She died 13 years ago on September 13. So much has happened in these years and my life is so different but what I wouldn't give to have a good chat while we knit or did needlepoint.

So, onto my summer vacation. It has been an odd summer. The weather has been ok but we usually say it is glorious. When it is gray and rainy or foggy and I cannot see the lake I get cabin feverish. My garden was overtaken by bugs. The Nasturtiums were absolutely destroyed and my herbs did not fare well. 

Here is  picture of the flowers before the bugs moved in to feast.

This white zinnia performed quite well with the marigolds.

One of the highlights on the summer was a picture taken by Jack as he kayaked around the lake.

I have not posted too much this summer as my internet connection has not been wonderful. I have become quite dependent on the internet for information and communication.

We are getting anxious to get back to Florida. We are thankful to have the best of both worlds but the transition gets a little more difficult each year.

My next post will be on what I accomplished! Knitting and reading were major this year.

Have a wonderful week.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Knitting in the rain

Blogging has been quite frustrating this summer as my hotspot device for the internet seems to eat the gigs I am allowed. It is expensive and slow and I suppose I am spoiled with unlimited internet in Florida. So I have been on sharing on Facebook which I can do from my phone. And I have been knitting as I have watched my little garden  NOT thrive. 

These zinnias should have been from my garden but the Japanese beetles live in that pot.

We stopped at our favorite farm stand for tomatoes and fresh corn and they had big bunches of flowers for sale and I bought a bouquet of zinnias. They cheered me right up!

Aren't the colors just glorious?

Rainy days are good for knitting. I finished two projects this past week.

Now I shall go and knit and watch the rain. Hope you are having a wonderful day!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Lazy Summer Days

It has been hot. And we are quite lazy. Whatever needs to get done is done early and we then sit on the porch of the cabin and wait for a breeze. Sometimes we wait all day!

Suppers have been simple - very often a cold plate. The other night we did grill chicken thighs and they were wonderful. You can find the recipe here

I love the counters in the cabin - red linoleum!

Very good dinner with leftovers for another meal. We served the chicken with farm fresh corn on the cob and sliced tomatoes.

I still have limited internet but please know that I appreciate my followers old and new and I love comments. I shall be a better follower when I get back to Florida.

Have a wonderful week!


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