Looking Back | September 2019

Looking Back | September 2019

September was an incredible month…there was baking, and the first day of school, and so many amazing skies (most of which were captured on my morning walks!) and there were good sips, Pilates, Sherman, and a new do! One thing struck me in looking back was this: even though the daylight hours were waning, the light itself was truly spectacular! Especially for taking pictures because it is softer and warmer and I definitely noticed that in this months photo images.

The video shares 1 minute of a September that felt like it began and ended about that fast!

And, that  is a wrap for the week! I am heading off to Michigan bright and very early tomorrow morning. (Okay, really dark and insanely early as I will be on my way long before the sun rises!) I will see you all back here next week in time for Unraveled Wednesday!

Weekending: In pictures

Weekending: In pictures

Notes on a weekend: I do not consider myself a pie baker, but this recipe intrigued me and 8 cups of frozen raspberries from our garden that I had done absolutely nothing with glaring at me every time I opened the freezer. So, out came the raspberries to thaw a bit while I put mixed the pie crust ingredients together on Sunday morning. My raspberry modifications: 4 C raspberries – slightly thawed. 3 Tbsp corn starch (next time I will only use 2 Tbsp), 1/2 cup sugar, 1 tsp vanilla paste, the juice and zest of one lemon. I needed to bake it about 8 minutes longer than the recipe called for.

Oh, and that corned beef… omgosh, it was hands down the best corned beef I have ever made – or eaten! If you have always felt sort of ho-hum about corned beef… try Andrew Z’s recipe. It will turn you into a corned beef fan!!

My quilt top is almost done! As is the back of Deschain – so you know that means I simply had to cast on a new project, lol. This will be the shawl I am donating to and Close to You won the great pattern debate. I wound the yarn while I watched the NCAA selection show (there were cheers for Michigan pulling a #2 seed despite losing the Big Ten Tournament to Michigan State) and the winding continued while we watched the Circus. But, cast on was achieved before I finally turned off the lights and headed to bed.

And, with that – the weekend is just a warm memory and the mundanity of Monday awaits me! How about you? How was your weekend?

Every Day Good

Every Day Good

There is so much going on every day and not all of it good. So, every day I try very hard to have something good to focus on, I thought I’d share a bit of that with you!

Watching: The eclipse! Even though in Pittsburgh we only got a partial eclipse – it was spectacular even with some cloud cover. The changes to the light were stunning. You will be happy to know that our household listened to the directions of not looking at the sun to prevent retinal damage. This was not the case for everyone… Perhaps this should be a test for competency? And, as for the digital watching: Game of Thrones (of course!) and Endeavor! I also watched the finale of Broadchurch and honestly, I was a little disappointed. But, I won’t say any more than that for all those who have yet to watch it.

Stitching: Every single day and I am really pleased with how August is unfolding. Really pleased! I also went and got some button craft thread and my hope is that I will soon turn this pile of tee shirts into my first AC garment.

Reading: and listening like a maniac as I chase down my cover all! I am just 2 squares away and have about 18 hours of listening to do. I am eager to get them done because Beach Music by Pat Conroy just came off hold for me at the library! I am also reading the Essays of E.B. White on my Kindle and I have both books by Laurie Colwin (Home Cooking and More Home Cooking). I am almost done with Home Cooking – I should have it completed this week. This has really been the most spectacular summer for reading. Ever.

Picking: Tomatoes…so many tomatoes. That picture above is from this morning! I know, you are all probably sick of hearing about tomatoes, but this year, the volume of large tomatoes has been really quite spectacular. In past years, I have been happy with the dozen we have picked, but this year has had a bumper crop with no signs of production slowing down! Also, raspberries… I picked enough again this morning to make a batch of jam. I know these are such awful problems to have. Spending time in my garden is really the best time, I would not trade it for anything – even with the bunnies decimating our beans! There should be a “not picking” category perhaps, because outside of the handful of zucchini we picked at the beginning of the season, it has not been a good year for them at all. We have picked a sum total of zero since then and it does not look like that will change. I am not sure why they are having such a bad year, but my neighbor is not having any success with his squash plants this year either.

Eating: Tomatoes from my garden! Every.single.day! And, for those things we aren’t growing: sweet corn, peaches, and an incredible variety of peppers! August is the month where I am quite certain I could become a vegetarian.

Looking forward to: Our trip to Michigan! We finalized the dates and have our Airbnb reservation all set. It is the one thing that is really giving me something to look forward to! Why? Because…

Dreading: The end of August. The arrival of Labor Day. The return of dark mornings. Having to turn lights on at night earlier. This summer I have really tried to not “wish ahead” but rather spend more time in the moment enjoying. This has been an eye-opening practice – I am much happier with each day and I am worrying less about tomorrow, or next month, or next year. September, you can just wait your turn – there is lots of August left!

Celebrating: Sherman’s 5th Birthday on Saturday! Every day I am so incredibly thankful for him. He is a bright spot in our day.

That is a slice of what is good in my life right now; how about you? What’s good in your life?

It was the best of times…EVER

It was the best of times…EVER

Into every bloggers life, there comes that moment when you say to yourself – wow, I would love to hang out with all of them, like every day! And, you wonder what might happen if you could spend a few hours with a blogger friend. Would it feel like you have known each other forever? Would it be weird? Would they be nothing like their blog? Would it be the best time ever.

That happened to me this week…on Monday I was incredibly fortunate to be able to spend a couple of hours with Kym and it was so awesome! (Really, you can’t tell at all that I was having any fun especially with the grin I have from ear to ear and I think subliminally I am trying to hang on to her so she could not leave… lol)

So, true fact – we are a one car household and Steve heads off to work at the ass crack of dawn, so yeah – my hair was looking marvelous – not. Oy.Vey. And, I cannot even believe I am sharing the above photo…haha! Although, Kym tried to clue me in on the angle thing… she won the day for sure! (Also, her Peace Cowl is gorgeous! And, Peace Cowl… Peace Sign Earrings – she had it all going on! Oh, and her LipSense was perfect!!)

So – because you probably want to know – it did feel like we knew each other, it was not weird, she is even more incredible than her blog, and it was the best time ever!

But, you know what Dickens said about the best of times; it is directly followed by the worst of times…

Yep, enter Thursday… and the day of the DOCTORS APPOINTMENT.

I simply love how everything about visiting the doctor is “hurry up and wait” – I mean really. I get to the appointment (early) and I am told that in 10 minutes I can check in via a “remote user-friendly” access point. Why the 10-minute wait? Apparently, you cannot check in more than 30 minutes early!

Once the 10-minutes have expired, I head off to the kiosk to “check in” only to have the remote log in station tell me I need to go to the desk to check in. I kid you not. They needed to get my “finger print” for future visits… really. So, how hard would it have been to ask me that first? (or freaking look at the record, which they have access to on their computer system – right?) By now, it is about 15 minutes before my appointment time and I am pleasantly surprised when they call me back almost immediately.

This surprise quickly was squelched when I realized that I was only being taken to another ‘waiting area’ where the board with all the physician’s names were listed along with if they were “on time” for appointments. Please note, every physician BUT mine was on time. My physician – 30 minutes BEHIND.

However, I am not the only one sitting in “cattle class” and the children there are beyond adorable so I have plenty to keep me occupied. (AND, dear Armand Gamache was with me too!!)

So, by now it is over an hour after my ‘scheduled appointment’ and I finally get the fun necessary part started – you know, those lovely vitals. I was most certain my blood pressure would be at dangerous levels… however, crazy as it may be my BP was LOWER than it has ever been (and I have never had high blood pressure) and when I had to get on the scale, the nurse said – wow, you have lost weight! I wanted to do the dance of joy! So maybe that was the fun part after all.

The appointment ended on the highest of notes – my very behind doctor is behind for a reason, he actually talks with his patients and more importantly – he listens to what they say. My office is a “teaching office” so he usually has a “doctor in training” with him – so if he can share with the new generation of physicians that this is the most crucial part of being a doctor, I don’t mind waiting.

Oh, and I won the “award of the day” for listening to him about losing weight.

The REAL reward of the day was (a very late for us) dinner at Casa Reyna’s in the Strip – with Guacamole prepared tableside and Margaritas for two! (Because you know Guacamole and Margaritas are the BEST of diet foods! LOL)

Now, how about some links?

First up – did you all notice the excellent update to Ravelry this week? If not, you should head there and look! It is AWESOME!

Next… this craziness happened this week. Really… I know, crazy!

That is all I have for this week, have a safe and very happy St. Pat’s Day! See you back here on Monday!

Thankful

Thankful

Today’s Think Write Thursday is to write about Thanksgiving.

I am most thankful to have discovered Michelle recently and I participated in both Gratitude Week as well as Just Five Things.

So, today – I am going to challenge you all to spend some time today thinking about what or who you are thankful for.

It can be things – we are indeed a rich country with an abundance of things! Things like running water, heat, transportation, a multitude of shopping choices, with a multitude of items to choose from. Or things like a table full of food today – perhaps celebrating with friends and family.

But, what about being thankful for the intangible things. Things like kindness, good will, open-minds, open-hearts, love, and peace.

I will share my thankful list, but I will be thinking about this numerous times today – and as I learned with Michelle – in the course of a day, the things you think about can change dramatically. Powerfully. Exponentially. But, here is my start:

  • Food that is so abundant and has been prepared with love
  • Steve – who will share this quiet day with me
  • Family – who while they might be far away, they are always close in my heart
  • Quiet morning meditations that help me center my day and myself
  • Pandora’s timely email yesterday with a list of Thanksgiving stations which will keep me from driving Steve crazy with Christmas music (rather now I can do that with Thanksgiving music instead!)

Today, whether you are with family and friends or are celebrating alone – I will be thinking about all of you, with deep thanks in my heart for our paths crossing – even if it is only here on the internet.

If you would like to join us on Think Write Thursdays, Carole and I would love to have you! You can sign up here.

Happy Thanksgiving, dear friends. May your day be overflowing with thankfulness.

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