Lovely, Lovely Rain

I am most definitely a PNW girl.  I love the cloudy rainy days.  They both comfort and invigorate me.  When I lived on the east side of the state, by the time summer was over and months without a drop of rain, I was craving the cool comfort of a rainy day.  This love of cool rainy weather is one of the many reasons I loved Ireland.  While there, people kept apologizing for the weather and I kept repeating….this is my type of weather!   This morning I awoke to the sounds of rain beating on the roof and running down the gutters to splash loudly on the gratings.  It was such music to my ears and I hoped out of bed to throw open the doors and windows so I could revel in the sound.  My silly boxer babies don’t like it so much and act like they may very well melt if they get too wet.  Silly babies.

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It has been a glorious week of being home and just relaxing.  This week I tackled the Autumn, Halloween, Thanksgiving decor.  Oh dear me I had 14 boxes full!  Christina had left her decor when she moved off to Ireland, and add that to my own holiday obsession, and well….14 storage boxes is the result!

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It took a few days, but I sorted through it and got it down to 7 boxes, which I think is pretty amazing.  Now to just get the Autumn decor put out before it is time to switch to Halloween decor!

Once I got those boxes sorted, I was ready to begin the Herculean task of tackling the storage area above the garage.  It has become a catch all for everything and there was nary an empty spot what with all the flotsam and jetsam that had landed there.  Down came box after box of junk, enough for two trips to the thrift shop for drop off!  I still have the task of going through all the cardboard boxes of items and getting them into storage boxes, but the majority of just unnecessary junk is gone.  That also meant I could finally get the boxes out of my guest room and start making it back into a guest room where guests are not just sleeping amongst boxes.  I do love organizing, it is in my blood. An organized environment means a peaceful environment and is necessary for an organized mind in my world.  I don’t do chaos in my home life.  Many people can manage in a storm of clutter, some even thrive in that environment.  Me, I just remain unsettled until I have organized clutter.  If one must have clutter, then it must be organized clutter.

I also spent some time in my studies.  I just love the placement of my desk and the view out my window.  One nice lovely glorious hydrangea blossom is pushed up against the window.  So beautiful in its perfection!  Notice my little pencil cup that states “Time and Tide wait for no man.”  My dad used to say this all the time.  The cup has a little house and tree on the other side.  It is Devon Ware Motto Ware from England and just the sweetest thing.

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My knitting bug has finally returned and I picked up the shawl I have been working on for my bestie Mia.  You can just see the lace pattern beginning to take shape.  I love this pattern, it has been one of the most user-friendly patterns I have ever knit.  It knits up fast and yet offers enough of a challenge to hold your interest.  I am ready to add on the applied border, a new to me technique.  If you love knitting, you must catch the podcast that the designer of this pattern, Kristin, records weekly.  Kristin is the genius behind Voolenvine yarns.  I adore her hand dyed yarns and her podcast!!  For those who do not knit, this may look like a mess now, but it will block out to look like the picture.

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While in Ireland, I found some lovely wool at a charity shop and knew it was just the thing for a tea cozy.  This is a little pattern I designed my self, simple yet lovely to keep your tea warm.

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In the evenings when I knit I watch Brit TV.  I just cannot tolerate violence in programing and it seems 99.9% of US programs have never ending graphic violence. Not my cuppa.  Yet, I love a good mystery and detective story.  I love how Brit TV tells a great story but does not feel the need to provide unnecessary violence and graphic detailed shots.  I have been hooked on foreign shows for over 20 years.  I also love how their actors look like real people, not surgically enhanced replicas  of each other.  It is a rare occasion when I watch anything from the US.  Currently I am rewatching Midsummer Murders. I adore that program and coming back to it after 3 years is like watching it anew.  There are just too many wonderful shows on Acorn and BritBox!  And I cannot wait to see the Downton Abby movie!!  Nothing more cozy than knitting, a cuppa, and viewing the gorgeous British country side as your favorite detective solves yet another mystery.

With the rains upon us and the cooler weather, I lit up the little turf burner I brought home from Ireland. The house was filled with the smell of a turf fire and it brought up all the cozy memories of sitting in front of the turf fire knitting and visiting.  Oh how I do miss lovely lovely Ireland!

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And now I must off to my task for today.  With this time off, I am busy tackling all those things left undone.  Today is the sewing room…it has become a catch all for this and that. Time to clear it out.

Happy Autumn!

Patricia

 

Welcome Pumpkin Season

October has arrived, and with it my desire for pumpkin goodies.  I rarely bake anymore but just can’t resist pumpkin bread. I tried two recipes and while both are good they are distinctly different. The first is a traditional moist pumpkiny flavored bread.

 Yummy perfection.  When this was gone I happened upon a recipe that added dates and pecans.  It made a much darker bread with clovey flavor.  Next time I would cut back on the cloves, yet as it aged over a few days the clove mellowed out. This was by far my favorite!

Here is the recipe courtesy of my friend Joyce

3 cups sugar
3 1/2 flour
2 tsp. soda
1/2 tsp salt
4 eggs
1 can pumpkin
1 cup oil
1 cup dates or raisins
1 cup chopped pecans
2 tsps. each: Nutmeg, cloves (ground), allspice, cinnamon

Mix all dry ingredients, mix all liquids. Stir together until smooth.

Grease and flour a bundt pan.  Bake for a good hour at 350 checking occasionally to see when done inside. 

In the kitchen I also made up some of the blackberry harvest into jam.  Blackberry jam is one of my favorites. I always use the recipe inside the MCP pectin box. 

So yummy spread on bagel and cream cheese!  

One big change for me has been going caffeine free.  A few months back my stomach began hurting and I could not figure out why. Tried clearing things out of my diet with no success. Doctor visit and seems I have an ulcer. Testing for H.Pylori and if not that will be scoping my stomach.  So I went cold turkey off caffeine. Amazingly no headaches. And I don’t miss it. I now drink herbal tea and my newest hot drink love is 100% Apple juice with a shot of caramel.  Yum!  Stomach still hurting but better and bearable with meds. But I want it cured not bearable!!!  Thankfully my new Doctor (yes I switched after the first just put me on meds with no follow up).  This one is a D.O.  I just have no luck with MDs and have not used one in years since discovering the care that a DO delivers!  And with this the hubs and I decided to start eating clean and eliminating all processed foods. Of course this was after the pumpkin bread.  I’ll have to find a way to make it with whole wheat flour without sacrificing the taste. 

In other news the hubs updated his bike. This one had everything he had been wishing for on it. 

Love this man!  

This crazy boy, who is sitting on his sister (he did not hurt her and I got him right down), left us some nice gifts on the carpet one day while we were working.  Ivory carpet at that!  On to Pinterest to find a solution (I just love Pinterest).  Found one and it was amazing. Even took out some spots that were in the carpet when we moved in! 

Here is the recipe:  Just mix equal parts water and white vinegar in a container and add a generous squirt of Dawn dishing washing liquid.  Saturate the spot and scrub thoroughly working the solution all the way into the pad.  Blot out all the liquid you can with dry towels, let dry, and vacuum.  Spot will be gone!  Amazing!

Crafting and knitting has rather taken a back seat as work has gone crazy and been putting in 10-12 hour days (may be the reason for an ulcer?!).  But I did take time to make another banner for work.

Candy corn!  Simple yet cute. Did not get a finished photo. Just love making these banners.  Again Pinterest is the inspiration!  

Happy Pumpkin Season!

Patricia


Autumn: A Season For Renewal

Autumn is here!!!  My most favorite season of them all!  I love the brilliant autumn hues; russet reds, golden yellows, burnt oranges, and deep plums.  The crisp snap in the air is invigorating and the musty smell of burning leaves and logs is somehow comforting. Autumn always makes me want to cook up hearty stews, fruit crisps, and golden loaves of crusty breads.  The bounty of the garden harvest is in and it is a time for celebrations!  

I have always viewed September as the advent of the new year.  The idea of a new year beginning in the deep of winter is just without merit in my opinion.  But September, with back to school and crisp fresh days; yes that is where my new year begins!  

The last of the summer visitors have come and gone as children are now back in school and it is time for a thorough turning out of the house before holiday decorating begins in earnst!  A summer of yard sales has added exponentially to my already burgeoning boxes of decor!  

However before I get too carried away on the spleandors of Autumn here’s a look at the last lazy summer days.

Two little wood sprites came for a visit!  We had lots of fun exploring and of course they could not wait to hit the yard sales with their grandma!  And they found treasures, lots of treasures!

Always have to get in park play time too!  And a birthday celebration as a sweet wood sprite turned twelve!!!

So grown up and beautiful, my Milsie!!!

And of course a trip to the beach was included!

The waves were huge and cresting quite a distance from the seashore!  It was magnificently beautiful!!

The house is so quiet when the grands leave and it takes me a few days to readjust and resume my routine as I miss them dearly.  

The hubby has week days off still but I managed to sneak away one day for us to hit the beach and explore a few wooded paths.

Oh how they love to run and play on the beach!!  

While there we checked out a myriad of properties. We lucked into a great realtor. Mike took us to a dozen places and we have pretty much decided upon the area we want. Now just to find that perfect retirement cottage!!!  It is so fun to look and plan for that next step, the time when we both step away from work and turn our attention to play!!!  

And let’s not forget a few of my latest yard sale finds!

The sweetest carrying case for my iPad and a hand painted milk glass piece, plus a set of ikea dishes and silver!! 

And now off to mix up some delicious pumpkin bread!  Autumn is the perfect excuse to make yummy loaves of sweet breads!

Happy Autumn!

Patricia