Sunday, May 26, 2013


Remember this?
The picture of the bird that you couldn't see?
I figured out what kind of bird it is!
A Green Heron.  So cool.

And, we have a red-winged black bird who is protecting his territory against a huge crow around our pond.  It's crazy - he's a quarter the size of the crow and keep pecking at him and chasing him away.  Which is fine with me.  I don't like the crows.

Ooh! AND... I saw a what I think is a Downy Woodpecker today.  It looked like this:
I think.  It came and went fairly quickly.

Yes, it's been a while since I've posted....  Knitting has been happening, but no pics right now.  More soon I hope...

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

The Line-up

My next few projects lined up and ready to go.
A scarfy-shawlette-y thing, a ripple blanket, a hat and a wrap. Not shown, because i don't have the yarn yet, is a fingering weight sweater. No, I am NOT discussing the last post where I just said I had a real lot of yarn and I probably shouldn't buy any. I'm just not.

Stay tuned for progress updates!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Mmmmm.....Cinnamon Rolls

Oh. My. Gosh.  You have to try these:
Before baking. Argh - sideways!
After baking.  Apparently they flip right side up
after they are baked.
These are the  Pioneer Woman Cinnamon Rolls 101 and They. Are. So. Good.  And surprisingly easy.  I made a few changes:  I didn't add maple flavoring or coffee to the frosting.  Just plain old vanilla extract.  I also halved the recipe and instead of making a few pans of 7 small rolls, made 12 big rolls in one pan, baked them at 350 degrees for 35 minutes.  Probably could have used a few more minutes since the middle ones were a touch under done.  But still.... soooooo yummy.

Also, anyone know what kind of bird this is?:
I realize you can't see it very well so I'll try to describe it.  There were two of them our there the other day.  They had a teal head which looked smooth at first, but at times got ruffled up like a cockatiel.  A magenta-ish neck area and a periwinkle body.  Just sitting there,  it's neck looks short but it stretches out when it's trying to eat something in the pond.  They moved around the edge of the pond  seemingly looking for food and occassionally swam in the pond.

After they left, another bird came that I couldn't get a picture of. It had a very skinny head and beak and a plume type thing on top (also kind of like a cockatiel and more mohawk-like).  It would dive down under the water for several seconds and come up somewhere else.

Any birders out there that know?

Monday, May 13, 2013

Wood Floor Continued...

We finally got the wood to do the floor in the craft room and upstairs hallway, and got started on that this weekend.  Here is the emptied out craft room:

And here is what was in there:
It's funny --- the minute it was all packed up and stacked up, I had an urgent need to find some yarn in there.  It will have to wait a little bit... And I'm not even going to mention the amount of yarn I realized I actually have.  Let's just say I'm going to be trying to knit from my stash A LOT.

We got the craft room part of the project done lickety split:
Ok, lickety split after it took 10 years to get that all-important-it-has-to-be-straight-straight-straight first row done...
Two tape measures.  No level.
But now we are waylaid by the hallway with its four doorways needing the door jambs trimmed and the edging needed at the top of the stairs and the railing needing to be taken out and re-done.  So, a picture of that will come later.  And nothing is getting put back in the craft room until we make a trip to IKEA for a new shelving unit.  And a trip to IKEA (in New Haven, CT) means a trip to Pepe's Pizza!

A Book Review:
Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter by Tom Franklin   Another great book.  It is the story of two boys, childhood friends in rural Mississippi, one from a lower middle class white family, the other the son of a single poor black woman.  They develop a secret friendship, but then one of them moves away.  Years later they meet up again after a terrible crime occurs in their town.   It is a very engaging story about race, friendship and loyalty.  The writing is terrific - very engaging.  

Saturday, May 11, 2013


We just had a wonderful couple of days back out in western New York at the Finger lakes.  The weather guy indicated it wasn't going to be great and the view on our way out was not encouraging:
But we were pleasantly surprised when, over the two days we were there, it only sprinkled a few times.  We were able to enjoy a walk along Seneca Lake: well as drive back up to Sodus Point and see Lake Ontario:

We were there this winter, too, and it looked like this:
On our way back home, we stopped in Skaneateles NY and saw Skaneateles Lake:
I know some of these may just look the same, but we love the water.  It's so relaxing just to be near it and to sit and look at it.

While in Skaneateles, we had lunch!
Mmmmm.  Fish sandwiches and onion rings at Doug's Fish Fry.  We were going to eat at a restaurant right on the lake, since it would give us a view.  However, we had to go buy something small at the bakery in order to get some quarters for the meter.  As we were going there we saw Doug's:
Yes, not only do they have fish fry-s, they have ice cream, but shocker of all shockers we didn't have any!
What I noticed pretty quickly was the sign above the door that had arrows and said "Food Line".  My first thought was, if they have to tell you where to line up, that means there is always a line, which means this must be the best place ever.  Since we were then afraid we were missing the best place ever, we abandoned our plan to eat with a view and went to Doug's.  We didn't regret it one bit.  It was so yummy.  And yes, in the picture, there is no line, because we were there very soon after they opened.  By the time we left, the place was packed and the line inside was getting long.
The rest of the ride home consisted of a stop at Patchwork Plus (the plus being YARN!).  I just couldn't resist getting a little:
I couldn't resist the Crofter DK which is a great self-fair-isle-ing yarn and good for kids' stuff.  Also found some laceweight Juniper Moon.  I never buy laceweight, but this just looked so nice and I loved the blue-y gray tones.  I'm not even sure what I'll make with it....
And I of course knit while I was riding in the car.  I worked on the doodlebug vest, doing the back decreases:
And I also worked on sleeve #2 of my Bloody Mary Cardigan:
This sweater is really coming along and I'm hoping to be on to the button band and collar soon.

I also finished a really really good book.  But I'll tell you about that in the next post....

Tuesday, May 7, 2013


Yesterday morning started out like any other.  The alarm went off at 6:20.  Hit the snooze and waited for it to go off again at 6:29.  I was laying there, listening to the sounds of the morning.  Birds chirping, breeze blowing, sun rising.  Then I heard it.  The honking.  Not car honking.  Goose honking.  And I knew they were back.  These two Canadian geese come to the pond now and then.  At least, as far as I know it's now and then.  Who knows how often they come when we aren't home?

I do NOT want them hanging around our pond. First of all, no matter what, our sweet little mallard couple gets first preference because they are sweet and cute.   Second, these geese are too big for our pond.  They look comical swimming around in it because they are huge and our pond is not.  I don't want them getting comfortable and nesting there because they are so messy and not very nice.  It brings back memories of going to school at UCONN, where they had a small lake, called Mirror Lake, but it became known as Duck Poop Pond (ok, Poop was replaced with the s-word) because of the gazillion Canadian geese that lived there and the mess they made.  We couldn't even enjoy walking around the lake, or sit by it (or near it) because there was so much poop and it smelled.  I in no way want these two geese to go tell their friends that they found a great hangout spot.  Then they'd tell their friends, and they'd tell their friends etc.  So, whenever I see them I go running outside and make a bunch of noise to scare them away.  Usually, they have barely touched down when they are off and running flying again.

Back to yesterday morning....  This is how crazy I am:  I jumped out of bed barely awake, threw on my glasses, slipped on my crocs, ran downstairs, out the back door, still in my pj's, into the wet, just mowed lawn, waving my arms and "pshhhhhht"-ing them away.  They left, honking all the way.  I came back in and had to take my crocs off at the door because they were wet and covered in just mown grass.  I went back upstairs just as the snooze alarm went off. Crazypants. 

Let's just not talk about the fact that I have scared them away several times and they still come back, so it's highly likely that they don't give a darn that there is a crazy, pj-wearing, arm-waving, psssssht-ing woman running at them....

Monday, May 6, 2013


My view from our walk today:
A doodlebug relaxin'
A Book Review!
One Shot by Lee Child.  It never fails. I've read every one of his books incredibly fast.  This one took two days.  I love the way Lee Child writes - suspensful, exciting, dragging you along and making you turn the page.  And I love his recurring character Jack Reacher.  Mysterious, smart, heroic, strong, protective.  His only possessions are the clothes on his back and a toothbrush.  When his clothes get dirty, he buys new ones.  What's not to love about that? I couldn't put it down.  I was reading it eating breakfast, between commercials, between checking on the grilling sausages. love. Loved. LOVED this book!

From Amazon:
"Six shots. Five dead. One heartland city thrown into a state of terror. But within hours the cops have it solved: a slam-dunk case. Except for one thing. The accused man says: You got the wrong guy. Then he says: Get Reacher for me. And sure enough, ex–military investigator Jack Reacher is coming. He knows this shooter—a trained military sniper who never should have missed a shot. Reacher is certain something is not right—and soon the slam-dunk case explodes."

This is also the storyline from which they made the recent movie, starring Tom Cruise.  Who is absolutely, without a shadow of a doubt, the wrong actor to play the role of Jack Reacher.  Jack Reacher is over 6 feet tall and a big burly guy.  We all know very well that Tom is not.  Ok, so looks aren't everything.  It's also the way Lee Child describes Jack.... one just can't picture Tom playing him.  Ever.  Mind you I haven't seen the movie, and probably won't.  I just know.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

I Went Back....

I just couldn't help myself.  All day, while weeding, planting and cleaning (ugh, ugh and ugh), I just couldn't get out of my mind that there were surely some books there at the library book sale that I didn't see at 9:30 in the morning (see yesterday's post for the details) that I'd really want.  So, at 2:30pm I went back.  All the books were as-many-as-you-can-fit-in-a-bag-for-$1.  A DOLLAR!  So, I found 9 more.  That's a total of 20 books for $9 for those of you keeping score.  A couple were ones that I wasn't quite sure I'd like but I took anyway.  Since it was only a dollar.  Now, the smart thing would have been to go through the books on my already-very-full bookshelf and donate them to this sale.  Then I would have room for them.  But that would have required me remembering that there was a book sale, to which I could donate books, during the town-wide garage sale.

Speaking of planting, I planted this:

Saturday, May 4, 2013


Me: Eleven
Library Book Sale Stash: Minus Eleven

Today is the annual town-wide garage sale, at which the library has their book sale.  It starts at 9:00am but I was downtown by 8:00 to peruse the garage sales before the good stuff was gone.  Didn't find anything there so I was glad to get to the book sale before 9:00 to get some of the good books before they were gone.  That's where I hit the motherload. ELEVEN books for $8.  I was getting a little frantic - hoping I wasn't missing any books that I had to have but didn't know were there.  I finally reigned myself in and stopped at 11.  But I might go back later.  You know, when the books are all messed up and the one I really wanted but didn't know was there is now just sitting on top of the pile waiting for me.

I found several books that were already on my Goodreads "to read" list:
The Hard Way: A Jack Reacher Novel by Lee Child
The Innocent by David Baldacci
The Panther by Nelson DeMille
A Wanted Man: A Jack Reacher Novel by Lee Child
Plain Truth by Jodi Picoult
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows
The Strangler: A Novel by William Landay
One Shot: A Jack Reacher Novel by Lee Child

Then picked up a couple more based on the recommendation of someone there:  
Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter byTom Franklin (which I had also heard about on the Books on the Nightstand podcast...)
Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See

And, you may notice on the top of the pile is The Girl Who Played with Fire by Stieg Larsson.  Remember how I suffered through The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo ?????? Well, for 25 cents, I figured I could see if what "they" say is true:  that the next two books are better than the first.

There you have it.  At least 11 blog posts involving books are in your future.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Can you possibly want to see more pictures of our yard?

I thought I'd have more knitting to show you, but it was a busy week with the doodlebugs and teaching knitting classes.  Oh, and I was reading a good book.  More on that later.  One of these days I'll remember to take pictures at my classes so you can see what everyone is learning. 

So, I only have the progress on the doodlebug vest to show you:
It's coming along nicely.  That's all I can say about it right now.  It looks like it did in the last picture, only longer.  I think I'm almost at separating for the armholes and that's where it will get sticky.

Part of the busy week included lots of walks to the park to play:
.... and a visit to say hello to Grandma:
Grandma's pretty street.
While I was teaching last night, Paul apparently started the first mowing of the season.  This is what it looked like this morning:
Right side mowed.  Left side not mowed.
We have sort of a large yard to mow, so it is usually done in a couple of evenings.

Everything is looking so bright and colorful these days!:
Turtles sunning themselves.
Ok, enough of that.  I think the yard pictures are getting a little monotonous.  Which is not to say that I won't stop posting them!  Maybe just not in EVERY post...

A Book Review!
The Dinner by Herman Koch. I  heard about this book from the Books on the Nightstand podcast.  It was one of the host's recommendation for their "Two Books We Can't Wait For You To Read" segment.  It was great.  Although pretty disturbing and a little gruesome.  Doesn't that make you want to read it?

Two couples meet for dinner and as the dinner progresses we realize their association with each other as well as that they are there to discuss something awful that has happened.  We see, through the eyes of the storyteller, who is one of the dinner participants, how each of them views and deals with this given each of their pasts and their relationships to the issue.  I know that's not telling you much, but it's one of those things that I don't want to say too much so you can discover things as they are revealed.  But, suffice it to say, I was hooked into finding out what we were going to learn next.