25 April 2018

Neither/Nor

I'm currently experiencing a neither/nor existence.  For example, I'm knitting every day, but not spending any real amount of time on any specific project.  Case in point: I have been knitting sleeve #2 of my blue sweater, which I have really been wanting to finish.  Last night, I had 6 rows left until it would have been done.  And I left it.  Because I just couldn't be bothered.  

I would say the project receiving the most attention recently is my blanket - I added 3 squares (top, right) over the weekend.  But then I put it back down.  I do like the way it looks, but as I said, nothing seems to be "sticking" at the moment ...


I did finish reading a book over the weekend, and it was fine, but again - not inspired.  I've started this book, which I've had on my Nook reader for a long time.


Since it contains essays, I can easily pick it up and put it down, and don't necessarily have to have a block of time to read it.  So far I think I've read 4 of the essays, and enjoyed them, but like everything else, I'm not dying to finish them all as soon as possible.

Things are neither great nor terrible.  I'm neither ecstatic nor particularly depressed.  I feel like the guy on the greeting card who, instead of a smiley face, has just a straight line drawn where his mouth is.  You open the card, and it says, "Have a day."

Check out what others have going on for Unraveled Wednesdays.

23 April 2018

It Was One of the Good Weekends

Well, it's Monday again.  And time for another team-building meeting later today at work.  Ugh.  Whenever anyone says "team-building" I want to throw up.  But I'll save that for later, and instead tell you about my weekend.  Which was lovely.

Admittedly, there are very few times when I don't enjoy a weekend - I mean, any day not at work is a day well spent, if you ask me.  But you know how every once in a while, even if you weren't travelling, or counting money someone gave you, or eating massive amounts of chocolate that will have no negative affects on your person, it's still a standout weekend?  That was this past one.

Saturday we started out by making a trip across the bridge to New Jersey.   We generally go there because gasoline is cheaper (even though someone pumps it for you - how does that work out??), and if we have other places we want to stop (Target, Kohls, the liquor store,* etc.), it makes it a worthwhile trip.  This time, we wanted to go to Target, the liquor store, and I wanted to stop at the Cherry Hill Mall to return a gift that was the wrong size.  We got an early start, which made it all very pleasant, because we were able to avoid crowds.  And it was one of those outings where everything we wanted to get and do went smoothly.  So by noon we were home again and had the rest of the day to ourselves.  I walked over to Loop since it was Local Yarn Store Day, and boy was it busy!  Which made me very happy.  I did buy two skeins of Andorra yarn from Kelbourne Woolens, for the Adventura Shawl by Laura Nelkin.  I hadn't necessarily planned to buy anything, but they had the sample shawl(s) there and they were lovely, and since I had a store credit which would cover the cost and still leave some in the account, I figured I'd go ahead.  I purchased a skein if Kelly Green and Lavender. 


(Images from Kelbourne Woolens site)

Then I came home and spent the rest of the day and evening hanging out with The Tim and the kitties, and knitting on a couple of already underway projects.  All in all, a lovely day.

Sunday I was inspired to go to the gym and work out first thing (I know!).  Then after breakfast, I decided before I took a shower, I'd do some cleaning (Again - I know!).  I have to say I was quite pleased with myself to have both things completely finished well before noon.  After then cleaning up mine own self, I headed out to get a few items we needed that are not available at places like Target.  Then I spent the rest of the afternoon knitting, watching a couple of podcasts, and watching the Penguins/Flyers hockey playoff game (the Flyers lost, but they gave the Penguins a good run).  

Besides the niceness of the weekend, I can also report that last Tuesday, my new great-nephew was born!  (You may recall I made this sweater for him.)

Introducing Oden Cassidy Groff:


Here he is with his big sister Penn - I think this picture is so adorable!


But my *very* favorite one is this one, where Penn first visited her mom Julie and new brother in the hospital.


From all reports, everyone is doing well, and Julie and Oden left the hospital to go home on Friday.  I'm sure they have many adventures ahead.

They had narrowed down the name choices to Rowan or Oden (which of course we assumed was "Odin" but it's none of our beeswax how they spell it.  As The Tim pointed out, at least they didn't do the celebrity thing and give the kid a name like Doorknob or Paper Clip), and I'm guessing Oden was chosen in the end because it's less common these days.  Anyhoo, he has arrived and is healthy, so that is the ideal.

I hope your weekend was a good one as well.  The weather is supposed to be more spring-like here this coming week, so hopefully that will be the case.  After all, we deserve spring weather, not only because it IS spring, but because of having to endure the aforementioned team-building ... ;-)

*technically, we are breaking the law buying liquor in New Jersey and bringing it across the state line to Pennsylvania.  So if I ever mysteriously disappear, you'll know we were busted.

20 April 2018

Friday FO

Well, I realized last night that I finished a pair of socks a few weeks ago, and completely forgot to show you!  So today is the day.

You may remember at some point I showed you the wip version, with the happy combo of pattern and yarn. 


They are now finished and safely tucked away in my Box o' Socks.


Pattern:  Zigzagular Socks (free on Ravelry!)
Yarn:  Three Irish Girls Adorn Sock, in the colorway Molly (sadly discontinued)
Needles:  Size 1US
Modifications:  None
Notes:  These may be my favorite pair that I have knit so far this year, and one of my all-time faves!  I have had this yarn in my stash for a long time, and decided that it just needed to be a pair of socks this March.  I came across this pattern, which I had saved into my Ravelry library a while back, and since it was particularly created for variegated yarn, I thought it might be a good match - and it was.  This pair was just plain enjoyable to knit in every way.  The yarn is wonderful, the pattern is well-written and once you get through the first repeat, it's pretty memorable and doesn't require intense concentration.  I highly recommend it.

Here's another shot of the socks, where the color is closer to what you would see in person.


**********
Happy weekend!  I hope whatever you have planned works out.  Our weekend is probably going to be quiet, though I am hoping to make it to Loop tomorrow for Local Yarn Store Day.  Especially now that Rosie's has closed, I want do my part to make sure that my two other local stores, Loop and Hidden River Yarns, stay in business.  Since Loop is about 1 1/2 blocks from my house, I'll probably head over there.  (Laziness usually wins out, especially on weekends!)

15 April 2018

Recipe : Italian Coffee and Walnut Cake

I realized the other day that I had mentioned this recipe, and then forgot to share it with you - sorry about that!  I came across this years ago, in a magazine whose name is completely lost to the mists of time in my memory.  It's one of our favorites, because it's pretty straightforward, easy to put together, and the result is so good. 


Italian Coffee and Walnut Cake

7 Tablespoons softened butter
1 1/4 cup sugar
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1 3/4 flour, sifted with 1 Tablespoon baking powder
2/3 cup strong coffee**
7 ounces/~1 1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)

-- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit; grease and flour an 8-inch cake pan.

-- Cream the butter and sugar until fluffy, then beat in the eggs.

-- Add the flour alternately with the coffee until the mixture is smooth.  Fold in the nuts.

-- Pour the mixture into the cake pan, and bake for 1 hour, or until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean.

-- Cool on a wire rack before serving.

**We don't really drink coffee on a regular basis, so I have used instant coffee or espresso for this and it's been just fine; I've also sometimes gone to a local coffee shop and ordered a small black coffee and used that, so if you are not a coffee drinker, don't let that keep you from trying this recipe!

Also, the strength of the coffee changes the "color" of the cake - stronger coffee makes it darker (as in the photo above), whereas regular/not-as-strong coffee makes it lighter in appearance.  The taste is the same.

This cake freezes well, if you wait until it is completely cooled, then slice it and wrap each slice in plastic wrap, and place those in a ziploc bag in the freezer.  That way you can pull out a slice at a time to enjoy without it becoming stale.

*****

I hope if you try this, you enjoy it.  We really like it - not too sweet, not really coffee-tasting, and a nice dessert,or a snack with a cup of tea.  Let me know what you think!

13 April 2018

Friday Foolishness on This Friday the 13th

I forgot that today was a Friday the 13th altogether!  Then this morning, I saw this meme on Facebook, and thought it was funny - some of the answers really cracked me up!


Here's what I've thought of so far:

What if Gloria Gaynor didn't love the nightlife?  What if she didn't like to boogie?

What if Santa Claus never came to town?

What if the Red Red Robin never came bob-bob-bobbin' along?

What if James Taylor was never your friend?


Feel free to play along if you like - I know I'm gonna be thinking about more of these silly things all day!