On a grey and rainy Monday

On a grey and rainy Monday

After a warp-speed weekend, Monday dawns dull and grey with rain showers and milder temperatures. It is hard to feel excited about the week when it starts off like this! We did have a dusting of snow when I woke and Saturday – it looked so beautiful outside. However, the rain has washed every bit of snow away. Boo!

However, the weekend was nice – happy hour on Friday was particularly wonderful. Good eats, good companionship, and great cocktails. Ones that were so good you needed a second to confirm that you loved it so much! I am sharing the recipe with you all – it was that good.

I really love classic cocktails, and a Sidecar with Remy Martin V.S.O.P. is one of my favorites this time of the year. But, I like to tweak things – improve them a bit, and especially take advantage of what I have on hand. Oranges are so lovely at the market right now – sweet, juicy and packed full of goodness add to that – my thyme is still growing like mad, despite the cold frosty days we have had. So how could I improve on the classic Sidecar with a bit of thyme and the fresh oranges. Here is my recipe:

Orange-Thyme Sidecars

Makes 2

  • 5 ounces Remy Martin VSOP
  • 1 ounce Cointreau or Triple Sec (I used Triple Sec, which is what I had on hand)
  • 1 ounce Thyme simple syrup*
  • The juice from 1.5 oranges **
  • The juice from half a lemon **
  • 2-4 drops of Orange Bitters
  • Sprig of Thyme for garnish
  • Orange zest for garnish

Combine all liquid ingredients in a shaker filled with ice. Shake briskly. Pour into chilled martini or coupe glasses and garnish with an orange zest and a thyme sprig. Enjoy!

*To make the thyme simple syrup – combine equal parts water and sugar and heat on stove top until sugar has melted completely. Remove from heat and add 8-10 sprigs of fresh thyme. Cover and let steep 10 minutes. Remove thyme and cool to room temperature and then refrigerate. Syrup will keep in the refrigerator for 2 weeks.

** I juiced 3 oranges and 1 lemon and made 4 cocktails

I completed the final bits of Christmas decorating and I did some reading and a wee bit of knitting. I finally finished Burial Rites and was not impressed – it was a story with so many questions and many of them unanswered. I started reading The Mysteries of Pittsburgh and so far, so good!

On the schedule for this abbreviated week (Steve is taking his last vacation day on Friday!!) is to finish the last bit of Christmas shopping and get wrapped and in the mail.

How was your weekend?


Christmas Card Insomnia

Christmas Card Insomnia

Tuesday…You are becoming more dreaded than Monday!

Trying to work out a convenient thing for Tuesday’s is giving me fits! Perhaps even causing insomnia!

Okay, maybe my insomnia is a problem of an entirely different sort – you know, the one that comes with being a certain age?? Yeah, that one.

Anyways, at 2:30AM Blog Post Eureka struck.

Christmas cards!!

That’s right – I am a Christmas card sender – and getting them done is on my list this week!

Now all I need are some Diwali stamps, which will be hopefully obtained today. (That is if there has not been a run on Diwali stamps at my post office!!)

Happy Tuesday everyone!

Randomly Tuesday

Randomly Tuesday

It seems that Tuesday’s have become the Black Hole for blogging.

So, I will share the jumbled thoughts in my brain on this grey Tuesday…read at your own risk!

Have you seen the reading list for resistance? I have added several these to my reading list! If nothing else, 2017 will be the year of reading well!

I continue to be amazed by the stark differences in Kelbourne Woolens swatch project. Links to all experiments are here.

Last week, I finished reading James Rebanks second novel – The shepherd’s view: modern photographs from an ancient landscape. I loved it cover to cover. The photos are spectacular and the interweaving of stories with the photos make me want to live in his neighborhood. I gave it 5 stars – and I strongly encourage you to read it!

I began decorating for Christmas this past weekend, and since we moved the furniture around in the living room – I can put out things I had not had out since before my move. It was a lovely exercise in nostalgia. Decorating continues this week with a goal of completion by Friday.

I have been contemplating resolutions for next year (yes, already!!) and I have been seriously looking at my daily schedule and working around what to change, what to eliminate, and what to add. Honore’ has inspired me greatly this year in her journal practices and I loved the simplicity of what I learned during my Just Five Things experience. Simple? Yes, but the impact of this simplicity was profound.

I am eagerly awaiting some Peace Knitting starting on Thursday. And, I also love this new cowl by my favorite stitcher. A fingering weight cowl sounds like the perfect accessory! It is on sale through December 3, if you are interested as well!

That is all I have for this Tuesday. How is your week unfolding?

Holding On

Holding On

I, like these determined little leaves, am holding on to November for dear life!

December is looming large and I am not ready for all the Christmas things quite yet!

Add to that the feeling that this year has just gone by far too quickly and I am very happy to revel in the last few days of November.

The weekend was quiet, but very good. There was lots of eating, some knitting, some movie watching with Steve, and a bit of heartbreaking football (this was not the quiet portion of the weekend by any means!) and even a walk or two for good measure.

Now, I am off to get outdoors and take a nice long, head-clearing walk! How was your weekend?

The Trader Joe’s Effect

The Trader Joe’s Effect

It has been two weeks – 14 short days – since the election and the Southern Poverty Law Center website tells me that there have been more than 700 incidents of hateful harassment’s since the election. That is more than 50 incidents per day, which boggles my mind, but what is even more upsetting is that these incidents have “taken on a new boldness“. The “Trump Effect” is even more ugly than I could have ever imagined, and I imagined it to be horrid.

But, what about my neighborhood, my city, my little corner of the world? Have I noticed any changes?

Sadly, we have. People seem to be ruder as they drive – in the past, merging into traffic there was just a “driver courtesy” allowing people to merge. Now, this seems a thing of the past – rather than allowing a driver to merge in – they speed up and crowd the driver out. A scary thing to the observer, and even scarier to experience. Ask me, I know!

And, if that is not enough – the laying on of the horns and hand gestures received because you stopped for pedestrians in the cross walk is just the icing on the cake. (Please note, in Pennsylvania – pedestrians in the cross walk have the right of way and traffic must stop for them)

This level of rudeness is not restricted to our area streets – people in shops also seem less kind and considerate – from those working and to those shopping, which makes the shopping experience so delightful – not!

Sadly, it is not only happening on our roads and in our stores – our schools are experiencing it too.

However, there is a bright spot despite all this boorish behavior and general nastiness.

Trader Joe’s.

Yes, that’s right – if you need a boost – a lift in your spirits – a reminder that not all of humanity is inhumane – stop at my local Trader Joe’s.

The people who shop there are kind and considerate and smiling.

Adding to that – the people who work there are genuinely happy, helpful, eager to assist, and filled with good cheer.

I do not know how this little microcosm of goodness exists seemingly separate from the Trump Effect, but I want to thank Trader Joe’s – what they are doing is not going unnoticed and I am so thankful this place is nearby!

I would love to see The Trader Joe’s Effect spread across this nation – and I am going to do what I can to help it right here! I will be that person who is kind, considerate, and smiling – genuinely happy, helpful, eager to assist, and filled with good cheer! Won’t you join me?

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