Friday, February 16, 2018

Five on Friday

Five things I'm looking forward to:

1. I booked my flight to DC to visit Andrew in March and for the first time ever I had enough frequent flyer miles to pay for my ticket.

2.  In the photo above is my order of Coast for 2 sweaters I plan to knit- I'll use the dark brown for Michigan by Amy Miller and the sea-foam and off white for Balise by Marie Greene.  Mary was kind enough to organize the order.  The upper left is what Mary will use for her Balise and Deena will use the upper right.

3.  A 3 day weekend, and I'd better enjoy it because work is gonna get CA-RAZY over the next few weeks.  With a new director wanting to put his own "stamp" on things I expect there will be lots of revisions and changes to the 2 reports that I have to put together.

4.  Just a couple things on my to do list this weekend, so I'm hoping for LOTS of knitting and maybe starting on Steve's Alaska wall hanging, or at least reading through the instructions.

5. Catching up on the Olympics; especially the figure skating.

The weather is supposed to be kinda yucky, so I'm glad that I won't have to be out in it except tomorrow when I get my hair done.  I hope the weekend finds you having a chance to do all the things that you  love.

Monday, February 12, 2018

Weekending-Good eats

The weekend started with an early departure from work on Friday; Sophie had a grooming appointment and then she hung out at the office for a couple hours.  It was definitely a top down day, and we took the long way home.  Saturday was the day to get things done-inside.  The weather was soo yucky.  I had several "administrative" things that have been on my to do list for a while.  One important task was  to renew my passport before it expired.   I also wanted to clean the apartment, and do laundry so that Sunday could be my "play" day.  I managed to get everything ticked off before bedtime on Saturday- yea!

A couple weeks ago I went through both of my Deb Perelman aka Smitten Kitchen cookbooks and marked the recipes I wanted to try.  This weekend featured 3 of recipes all winners.

Saturday featured the seared halibut and gazpacho salsa with tomato vinaigrette from her first cookbook The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook.  I substituted cod for the halibut, and did not make the salsa.  We had this with steamed asparagus and cacio e pepe potatoes anna which is a SK recipe from her newest book Smitten Kitchen Everyday.  Both of these were delicious.  Next time I do the fish I think I'll use halibut and make the salsa, but probably not the vinaigrette.  The recipe makes a lot and now I don't know what to do with the leftover dressing.

Sunday night we had the Chicken and Rice, street cart style from the Everyday book.  I used brown rice because that's what I had on hand, and I didn't have yogurt to make the sauce.   This dish was just okay, but on Monday I got the naan bread and the yogurt so I could serve the dish the way the recipe was intended.  What a difference it made having all the components.  I'd make this again, but add make it more red pepper so it'd be a bit more spicy.  That makes 3 down and about 30 more to go!  I haven't even begun to tag my Everyday Korean book, but think I'll get on that before the Olympics are over.  What's cookin' with you?!

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Unraveled Wednesday

I'm going to try and give this Unraveled Wednesday thing a shot.  Fortunately I haven't had to unravel anything recently.  I have finished Taproot, but will wait until I've made my adjustments before posting a photo.  Currently I'm working on Beckett by Marie Greene, I'm knitting this with Rowan Finest which is a combination of extra fine merino, cashmere and royal alpaca in the colorway Happy.  It is soooo soft, I can't wait to see how this turns out.  I got this I think for 45% off at Cast on Cottage so a total win for me!  I've been taking photos at work because the light there seems to show the true color.

I recently finished a Gather hat for myself.  I'm on a quest to finish up my worsted weight yarn, and I thought I had enough to finish this hat with the russet color, but had to substitute a bit .  I'm totally okay with having a bit of black at the top. 
 I'm almost done with another Conversationalist hat using more leftover Berroco Vintage.  I made 2 baby sweaters from these yarns for die-hard Packer Fans.  I may have enough to put a small pom pom on top.  I think I'm going to be set for hats for a while.  I have a pair of mittens I've been trying to finish for quite some time, so I think that will be working on that when I'm not knitting on Beckett.  I'm thinking any other hats I make will go into a charity box to give away in the fall.
Finally, here's my most recent Smitten Kitchen recipe- Farro and Tomatoes.  I had farro for the first time at our Guild pot luck and it was delicious.  This recipe from SK was equally delicious.  I will definitely be trying more Farro recipes. 

Monday, February 5, 2018

Keep on keeping on

I wanted to be careful how I titled this post.  I was tempted to use- end of an era, moving on, the next phase, etc.  Each one alluded that something might be wrong, but I can assure you all is well here. Sophie is taking her last photo in our 2004 Tahoe AKA The Tank!  Yep, we sold it this weekend to one of Steve's colleagues for her 17 year old son. He was very pleased and I am happy that it's going to someone who will appreciate it.  The timing was perfect.  He already has plans for fixing some of the body work, and taking care of some of the repairs that need to be made.  She has also been re-christened Big Bad*** Beth!  

The 150,000 miles on this vehicle represents lots of memories, sing along's in the car, hauling baseball and soccer equipment, moving boxes and lots of friends!  I'm hoping she will keep on keeping on for Max.  Honestly, there's a part of me that's going to miss this ride!

Saturday, February 3, 2018

January highlights

This post started out as "Weekending" themed, then 2 weekends went by, and then it was going to be a Three on Thursday, then that went by, so now that it's February it'll be some highlights from January.  We'll start with an Amaryllis update.  These photos were taken the weekend of the 20th when Steve was in DC visiting with Andrew.  This has been so much fun, and right now I have a couple blooms ready to open and there are some that have begun to droop.

Saturday afternoon featured a cookbook signing at Vino Venue which was fun, but not quite what I expected.  I had hoped for more discussion about paring food and wine, but it was still great to support a local business and author, and I actually had a nice chat with 2 young ladies who were at the table with me.  This is becoming a pattern for me-- interacting with strangers at events I'm attending solo which is probably a very good thing-right?!
On Sunday, I treated myself to lunch out at Seasons 52.  I had a gift card so that justified ordering a cocktail.  This the Bourbon Blackberry Bramble.  Yum!

The day was so nice I decided to drive home with the top down.  We'd had snow/ice just 3 days prior.  The weather in Atlanta has been something else. 

Other highlights of my solo weekend included knitting and embroidery while watching endless hours of Midsomer Murders.   I love the scenery, and I find the bad acting hilarious.  I finished Taproot, a hat for myself using leftover bits, and I swatched for my next sweater.  The embroidery piece I started is a simple piece that has the image stamped on so I'm just filling in the lines.  There was also a good bit of reading-Celine by Peter Heller for Book Club and I started The Beautiful Mystery by Louise Penny.  

After my solo weekend the next weekend included my regular meet up with Brenda and I continued to work on this piece and it's nearly done.  Brenda never fails to inspire me and provide feedback on what I'm working on including knitting.  She gave me some very helpful suggestions on adjusting my Taproot and I think I'll be happier with the fit.  We enjoyed a nice lunch before we headed in opposite directions.

Follow up photo of the Amaryllis

On Sunday Steve and I went to see the next play put on by the Stage Door Players and we were a little disappointed in the script and plot---It just didn't seem to connect.  Afterwards we went to a restaurant 57th Fighter Group that has been around for decades, and it was such a neat experience.  We were able to watch a few planes land while we ate. 

That's pretty much it for my January aside from my work trip to Vegas.  Getting into a groove with my new boss which came on the heels of a 3 day weekend followed by 2 days of office closure due to ice/snow.  February will feature a visit to the hair salon, an outing with my mother in law, and a work trip to Columbia SC.  I don't think I'll have the energy for anything else!

What I'm really looking forward to is April because I will have 2 extended weekend trips, one to Beaufort SC with my mother in law, Mary and Karen and I managed to get into the this knitting retreat hosted by Ann Budd.  I'll be taking a class with some great teachers and I'm really looking forward to Savannah in the springtime. 

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Three on Thursday- "Snowed" In

This week included a holiday and 2 snow days-this week's Three on Thursdays include some of how I kept myself busy:

I baked some whole wheat rolls-these were actually pretty easy and I'm looking forward to enjoying these with dinner this next week.
 There was lots of knitting-I am almost done with Taproot.  This project was perfectly timed with my trip to Las Vegas and then being home for 2 days.
I had lunch with a friend I haven't seen in a couple years at a new to me restaurant Muss and Turners. The Caesar salad was great the falafel not so much.  It was nice catching up, and hopefully it won't be so long before we can get together again.  I was also able to include a meet up with Mary and her knitting group at a local coffee shop.  I really miss social knitting.

There were walks outside-Sophie definitely didn't mind the snow or very low temperatures.  I was glad that today's afternoon walk was 40 degrees as opposed to the 17 degrees when we went out the first time.

I finished this hat for Andrew- Tin Can Knits Gather.  Steve will be heading to DC on Saturday and will be delivering 3 hats [one is a hand-me-down hat is now too big for me] and a cowl.  Hopefully he won't think the cowl is "not him".  The colors are masculine and I think it will look great on him; he claims he's just not a scarf guy, but I think the DC/Maryland weather may change that!

Also, there's been significant progress with the amaryllis-I didn't realize how much fun this was going to be. 

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Pass the popcorn

I don't get to the movie theatre often, but between recent my cross county flight and a 90 minute bike ride [indoors] yesterday I managed to watch 3, new to me films, and part of another one.  They were all very good, so I thought I'd share them here.

Goodbye Christopher Robin-I scrolled past this and didn't pay much attention until someone sitting diagonal in front of me was watching something that looked very WWI-ish and British.  I figured out that they were watching a movie about Christopher Robin of Winnie the Pooh fame.  What a great movie for anyone who is a fan of the story.  It was sad in parts, but well worth watching.  It's not on Netflix so I'm not sure if it can be streamed another way.  I love any movie that motivates me to either think or look up information to learn more.

The Mountain Between Us-this was recommended to me by someone who was in my training class who said the lead actor, Idris Elba, from Luther [a very good BBC crime drama] and Kate Winslet.  While the critics don't seem to like the movie much, but I enjoyed it as a change of pace from the more recent CGI films and there's a dog.

Battle of the Sexes- the story of Bill Jean King's career and her tennis match against Bobby Riggs.  I didn't get to finish this one, but what I watched I enjoyed so I need to find a way to finish it.  It seemed to do a good job of combining aspects of her personal life and her professional career and the issues professional female athletes faced during the 70s.

The Woman in Gold- I watched this while I was cycling.  I had previously read the book The Lady in Gold by Anne-Marie O'Connor and I had heard there was a movie, so I figured I had nothing to lose.  The movie's focus is the story after the painting was taken by the Nazis and the subject's niece [played by Helen Mirren's] desire to recover the painting.  I enjoyed the movie as much as I did the book.  If you like reading about art [and watching movies about art] I highly recommend both.

Now onto my amaryllis watch.  I took this photo last weekend before I left for Las Vegas.

Here is yesterday morning's photo shot and since there has been more opening of the center flower and more red is peeking out of the one on the right.  This plant must really like where it's been placed as it is really thriving.  The tallest plant is almost hip high on me [I'm 5'1" BTW].  I may have to do a mid-week update if this speedy growth continues.

I'm glad that I have a 3 day weekend to recover from my trip to LV-adjusting to the time difference was tough!  While the temperatures continue to dip into the teens overnight at least the sun is shining and there is a blue sky.  Hope this weekend finds you seeing the sunshine as well.