I would love to tell you I got all this knitting done over the weekend, but strawberries are ripe in the ‘Burgh.

And so, there was lots of hulling. Lots of macerating. Lots of rolling boiling. And lots of slow-roasting. And, as always, I want to thank Judy for this incredible recipe which made my house smell wonderful all.weekend.long.

We ended up with 10 pints of jam, which sounds like a lot but, they won’t last until next berry season! But oh boy, these jars are jam-packed with the taste of summer! There is nothing like a nice dollop of jam on yogurt cold, dark January. It is the tastiest promise of summer I can think of!

And in-between berry preserving, I pickled some jalapenos as well!

The jam making was a good diversion from my allergy misery. Oy, the itchy eyes, the sneezing… am I the only one, or does this year seem a bit worse than normal?

And here we are on a Monday, that feels very much like a lazy Saturday morning to me. Coffee and knitting anyone?

P.S. I did not want the day to go by with no mention of Rayshard Brooks. I read a post on FB yesterday about the need to think about the police in all this. Really? Here is what I think about the police… they believe they can get away with murder. I have zero respect for them. Zero.

Macro Monday | 4.20.20

Macro Monday | 4.20.20

Over the weekend, I got out the big camera and took a few photos. Okay, I took dozens of photos but only a few “turned out.” And, yes, turned out – as in to (accidentally) happen in a particular way…the effort was there but having not used the big camera for a long time my skills are exceedingly rusty! And the wind on Sunday was not at all beneficial – but the early morning light was perfect. Are the pictures perfect? No, but I love the shadows on these lilac blooms. I love how they open individually – each on its own schedule. And the fragrance. It is heavenly. That wind that played havoc with my picture taking worked diligently to waft the lilac aroma around… and that was most appreciated.

I know some of you had snow last week. But there is a poem for that… and it is simply perfect! (really, go listen!) Today in my gratitude list I am including Maxine Kumin for her beautiful words. Yes, that was a lovely rabbit hole to traverse on a Sunday morning!

There was some mystery knitting (clue two from Larissa Brown is done and clue three from Romi is in progress.) And, I bought a thing! And started!! And struggled! I will share my progress later this week.

In an effort to conserve vermouth (yes, that is absolutely a thing in my house right now) It was a vodka and soda weekend. However, I am happy to report that Trader Joe’s Cranberry-Mandarin Orange sparkling water is the perfect thing for a vodka and soda! No sugar, and the perfect hint of flavor in the soda – not too much and not too little!

Finally, today is my son’s favorite day of the year. I confess, I laughed at some of the suggestions in this Rolling Stones article on how to participate safely from home!

That’s it from me today! I hope you all had a great weekend!

Sometimes Monday | 4.13.20

Sometimes Monday | 4.13.20

Means a complete “brain dump” – yep, that’s right… today I am dumping out all the things rattling around my brain that I have been trying to remember for “future posts”…

Also, cocktails on Monday need to be a thing when we are back to “normal,” whatever that might be!

First up, the weekend highlights:

  • I had a few brief moments of mourning over the weekend when I reflected on not being in Michigan for the holiday as we had planned. Virtual conversations are just not the same as in person ones. However, Vivi with her Chicks is epic! My daughter says she wants to be “with them” in the barn all.the.time!
  • Church via Zoom is also not quite the same as being together in person and “Apart but Together Easter Breakfast” would have been greatly improved with “smell-i-vision” because bacon! (And someone was having Pecan Pancakes!)
  • An Easter without music is not quite the same, but I did find some Spotify channels to “sing along” with…much to Steve’s pleasure, lol (or is that displeasure! Ha!)
  • A new cocktail was created, and it is a huge winner! (there was some necessity for this as the vermouth stock is dwindling…)
    • 1 Cup Dry Gin
    • 1/2 cup Pear Ginger Puree (recipe follows)
    • 1/3 cup Domaine de Canton Ginger Liquor
      • Ingredients for Pear Ginger Puree:

        • 1 jar of Trader Joe’s Pear Halves, diced
        • 1 ginger root, sliced (you do not need to peel it)
        • 1.5 cups water
        • A scant 2/3 cup of cane sugar

Bring all ingredients to a boil. Once boiling turn heat down to simmer covered for 15 minutes. Turn off the heat and let sit covered for another 15 minutes. Remove the ginger pieces and pour the pear liquid into a blender. Blend until pears are pureed.

To make the cocktail, add ingredients to an ice-filled cocktail shaker and shake vigorously. Pour into a chilled coupe glass and enjoy! (makes 2 substantial cocktails!) I froze the remaining puree in ziploc bags for future cocktails!

Now that the “weekend” is out of the way, let’s begin the brain dump portion of this post!

I saw this somewhere in the Blogisphere last week, sorry I don’t remember where (maybe Kym??) I have read it multiple times and have printed it out and put it in my journal. The words are the perfect reminder of how all this should change us.

SAH Book Bingo is sparking all kinds of excitement in my reading! I love the planning part especially, figuring out what books will work for a square. Need some ideas? Look no further! 500 Page book square? This has some incredible ideas (and I have read lots of them!) Let me know if you need a suggestion or two from this list!

Looking for things to fill mystery squares? Goodreads has compiled an excellent list here! (and again, if you need some suggestions – please ask me!)

NPR’s interactive list is a treasure trove of good things! (and it goes back several years!)

And finally, this poem by Carl Sandburg seems like the perfect thing to end this Monday post with.

If it is raining where you are, I hope you can stay safe and dry!

Sometimes Monday | 4.6.20

Sometimes Monday | 4.6.20

Starts with a trip down the loveliest rabbit hole!

Clara started it, but that led me to this and this and finally this! These kids… PURE JOY (and you can believe me when I tell you that because joy has been a scarce commodity in my life these days!!)

Perhaps, a trip down a rabbit hole is the perfect thing for today since I spent much of the weekend with things on repeat!

I could not get enough of this and I listened to it several times on Saturday and again on Sunday.

Which led me to “Google” Pádraig Ó Tuama and I discovered he has a twitter account! (My twitterverse just grew infinitely richer!)

I finished Clue One of the Genius of Romi! My brain loved every bit of everything I thought I could not understand – that is until I broke it down and just did what the direction said to do, and not worry about that next step until its turn. (I am knitting this with a heavy-lace weight yarn and a bit of a smaller needle than the pattern calls for, but oh my do I love this start!)

I also did some “repeats” knitting and finished a long lingering UFO* (I saved the pattern in 2015 and I think I cast on shortly thereafter, but never started a project page.) Today, a good soak and some blocking to reveal the beauty! (My yarns are about a half a ball of Zauberball Crazy – in the colorway that the designer used, and almost an entire hank of Lorna’s Laces sock yarn.) There was something entirely satisfying about knitting alternating repeats of welts and wedges.

I hope you enjoy these rabbit holes! Happy Monday!

Weekending | 3.30.20

Weekending | 3.30.20

It was a wild weekend here in the Burgh! Crazy winds brought insane storms over the weekend, but the temps in the 70’s were awesome!

Steve is not working on Friday’s these days as his office is closed, but the power went out so all the pc’s turned off so no one could remote in which meant he did have drive in at a time which used to be peak rush hour traffic. On Friday however, there were less cars on the road then there is at 5am when he normally drives in. Eerie.

We did make a visit to our local TJ’s on Friday as well. We stood in line roughly 30 minutes… the sidewalk was well marked and the people in line were lovely

Photo courtesy of @stevofc who does not understand the concept of landscape photos….

Friday there was a typical happy hour with French Manhattans… they were so good!

Cognac, orange liquor, sweet vermouth, orange bitters, and a cherry.

No one takes better photos of the Pittsburgh area than Dave DiCello… but his lightning photos are just crazy.

The Monongahela River is doing its thing overflowing the wharf. This is about what my back yard looked like for most of Saturday and Sunday morning.

Sunday meant sock knitting and Negroni’s. (I don’t know if it is just me… but are you all drinking more these days?)

Working through clue two!

Then the sun came out and dried up much of the rain, so I could drag Steve out for a “forced photo shoot” (which he hates so much, lol) But anyways, here is my finished and MUCH loved Nightshift! It is HUGE and it is perfect! I only pinned the edges so they laid flat with really no stretching at all and it is so generously sized! I love it so much I **almost** wish for the tiniest sliver of cold weather to wear it a time or two…

There you have my weekend…I hope you managed to find some bright spots in yours! It seems unreal, but I will be back tomorrow with an update on my word!

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