kitty companiona

kitty companiona

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

When Life Gives You Lemons

Make lemonade for breakfast!

These beauties came from my Meyer lemon tree that lives outside in the summer and in the basement in winter.  Zip moved the tree to it's summer place and removed the fruit so it can bloom and make more.

Meyer lemons are less tart than the lemons available at the grocery.  Their skin is thinner and there is no white bitter pithy part under the skin so the whole lemon can be chopped and used in a recipe.  I haven't decided yet how I am going to use these precious little darlings.

On Saturday I attended the meeting of the South Cumberland Fiber Guild which meets in the Shippensburg Library annex.  My friend Dottie was giving a talk and demo on how to knit socks from the toe up.  The toe up method makes it easier to get the correct foot length because you can try on the sock as your knitting progresses.

Some of the socks Dottie is working on.

About a year ago I took a picture of Dottie at another event and she didn't like the result so I was only allowed to take a shot of her foot this time!  LOL!  I did OK on the sock modeling, didn't I???  Have I redeemed myself?

Nancy brought some interesting yarns and colors for her socks.  The bag at the right side was handwoven by Nancy.

Shirley brought a few show-and-tell projects.  She's been knitting hats with her handspun yarn.

This is her crocheted spinning wheel mat.

This is the starting row of my sock.

To make the toe you knit in a circle and make a stitch at the beginning and end of each side.  I took it home and worked on it until the toe portion was finished.  I didn't like the look of the 'make one' places so I tore it all out and will be starting over as soon as I get two new sets of circular needles.  I've decided to do both socks at the same time on two circular needles.

On Monday I went to the Cumberland Valley Hookers hook-in.

Ruth was showing the wools she dyed at a recent class at Grant Street Woolworks taught by Joan Straussbaugh (hope I spelled her name right!)  The wools in her hands were done by the 'marrying' technique.

Here are some other random shots of rugs that people were working on.

I came home and spent the afternoon finishing the background on my rug.

Today I dyed some gold yarn to use for the binding.  I tried to match it to the gold wool used for the outline on the vines and the outer border.  I'm pleased with the results.

I will leave you with a picture of some lovely flowers that were on the porch of a little greenhouse we visited yesterday.  Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Window Wars and Lots of Other Stuff

The weather here has been terrible to say the least.  Last week we had a few nice days and then this major weather system blew in and has been hovering and circling over the east coast for many days.  We've had thunder storms and heavy rain, brought in from the Atlantic.  Yesterday we started the woodstove because it was so cool and damp.

On one of the few nice days I opened some windows and thus began the altercations.  Open windows have become such a novelty that everyone wanted to get in the action.

Deiter and Izzy were right there checking the great outdoors, sniffing the air.

Penny and Reggie joined the crowd and Deiter decided to hand the space over to the young ones.
Things went well at first.  Everyone minding their own business and enjoying nature.

Then they start looking around.  Not enough personal space!  Mom, she's looking at me funny!

And the 'picky paw' begins!  The kids are fighting again!

Small but feisty and determined, Penny wins the undisputed place in the window.

The others retreat to the living room window.
Meanwhile Tipper is taking a nap somewhere.

When I finally got a chance to look out the window, I saw this!

Even though we only live a few miles from the base of the mountains, we seldom see deer in the front yard.

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On Thursday evenings at the Shippensburg Public Library, my friend Dottie holds an informal knitting group that is open to anyone who wishes to participate.  Dottie is an expert knitter who will help with project questions.  She has been one of the teachers at the Knitter's Day Out in September for many years.

Since I've started knitting again, I decided to check it out to see what interesting projects are being made.  One of the women was knitting several different sleeveless cotton shells for summer.

She had just finished her gauge swatch in this lovely cotton and linen blend that she had gotten at the recent annual Salvation Army fabric sale.  This very soft yarn was only $15 for a large enough bagful to make a full sized sweater.

She also had underway a beautiful cable shell in another cotton yarn.

Dottie was knitting socks.

She will be teaching a class in the toe-up technique for socks tomorrow (Sat. May 21)  for the South Cumberland Fiber Guild meeting in the Library Annex.  The meeting begins shortly after 10 a.m. for anyone who is interested.  Also check out the South Cumberland fiber Guild website for more information about this fun group of spinners, weavers, knitters, shepherds, etc.

By the way, I've finished knitting the components of my cabled cardigan and am ready for blocking.  I hate this part and have been dragging my feet!  I'm determined to get it done this weekend so I can go on with the front bands and the collar.

Yesterday I traveled to Chambersburg to Grant Street Woolworks for the weekly hook-in.
There usually isn't a large group in the afternoon, but there's no lack of conversation.

Kathy is seriously working.

Kathy's friend, Beth was making yoyo mats.

Barb's patriotic quilt.

I think this project of Linda's is going to be a purse.

Joan brought several interesting things for show and tell.
This is, I think is a Karen Kahle design, for a tote bag.  Joan plans to use the gold wool for the trim on the bag.

She made these delightful dolls, too.  Love the wool clothing!

Detail of one of the faces.

My final decision has been made on the border for my rug.  It is only half the width I started with.  After doing about half of the narrower border, I didn't like the amount of blue in it and pulled it out and replaced it with green.  Then after finishing the border in mostly red and green, I changed my mind and thought it needed some blue, but not a lot.  Linda suggested just putting in little blips of blue.  They don't show up very well in the picture, but they are in the center of the dark red part of the border.

There's only the background to fill in.  I love it when all the difficult decisions are behind me!

I want to thank all of you for stopping by.  Welcome to the new followers.

Many of you left comments on my last post but because Blogger was having technical difficulties, over half of them have been wiped out.  I'm sorry about this and hope you continue to leave comments.  Blogger seems to have recovered from it's brain fog.

Until next time, sunny skies (I hope) and happy hooking!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Food and Rughooking

Two of my favorite things.

I started this blog for rughooking, but I've strayed off in many directions.  One of the tangents has become my eating out experiences.  I love going to new restaurants and photographing the food and decor.  But I don't want to bore anyone from afar with interesting places in my area of south central PA that you may never have a chance to visit.

I've been mulling over the idea of starting a separate blog for restaurant reviews.  Nothing decided for sure yet.  And there IS Yelp, so maybe it isn't necessary.

So for this post I'll start with the rughooking and then if you don't want to go on the restaurant tour, you don't have to.

After I had asked for suggestions on the border, I kept hooking along, hoping I'd like it better.  I didn't!

I had taken the gold stripe out of the edge and that toned the brightness of the border down a notch,  but it still was too big and overpowering.
You gave me many good suggestions!   Thank you so much for all your input!
I tried to use the ones that would require the least amount of reverse hooking.

I tried rearranging the colors in the stripes, but ended up liking this conbination the best.
My final decision (for now!) is to cut about an inch off the outside edge and make the arches shorter. 
I cropped the photo to see what effect that would have.
They also seem to look rounder, which I think goes better with the circular flowers.

I'm going to have quite a bit of reverse hooking and adjusting to make it work, but what else do I have to do with my time???

I'll see if this fix is acceptable.

A few days ago I had this pasta craving.  I love pasta in all it's variations, with sauces of every kind, but once in a while I just want it simple.

I sent Zip to the grocery store to get fresh basil.
I probably posted a similar recipe before, but this is one of my favorite fast, easy and delicious ways to make pasta.  It's also vegetarian for those who don't eat meat.

Favorite Pasta

1 lb. box of spaghetti, linguine, or fettuccine.
1 large can of petite diced tomatoes or 3 - 4 medium fresh tomatoes, seeded
3 or 4 garlic bulbs, very thinly sliced
about 1/2 cup loosely packed basil leaves cut into strips, plus a few for garnish
4 T. butter
3 -T olive oil
Salt and pepper

Cook the pasta till al dente.  Drain and set aside.
Microwave the garlic in olive oil for about 40 seconds.
Put the tomatoes in a large pan (the one in which you cooked the pasta will work), add the garlic in olive oil, the butter and basil, simmer for about 5 minutes.  Add the pasta to the pan plus the salt and pepper as needed.
On low heat, stir until pasta is thoroughly warmed.
Serve and enjoy.

Last week when Zip went to music lessons, we decided to get a light dinner in Hagerstown. 

The Safron Bakery is a delightful little eatery near the Community College just off Robinwood Drive.  I forgot to take a picture of our paninis.  They were turkey breast with fresh greens and cheese grilled to perfection.  Zip and I shared a sandwich so that we could have dessert.  The desserts are to die for and created by the owner himself.

A friend of mine who lives in Hagerstown says that the macaroons are a favorite of her husband's.  She likes the donuts.  Zip and I went for the fancy pastries.  I got a cream puff with the most delicious pastry cream I've had in a long time.  Zip opted for tiramisu.  We were there just before closing time so the bakery case was getting empty.

They open early for people on their way to work, but close at 6 p.m.
To see more of the Safron Bakery products, please Google Safron Bakery Hagerstown MD.

Then yesterday we tried a new restaurant that just opened in Shippensburg PA. on north Earl Street near the entrance to Shippensburg University.

We stopped for lunch but they also serve breakfast and dinner. 

Zip ordered the cheese steak sandwich.  He shared some with me.  WOW!  One of the best I've tasted in a long time (maybe ever!)

I had the grilled chicken with roasted red peppers and feta cheese.  Yum!
They were very generous with the feta.

Everything was very nice.  The greens were fresh,  the french fries crispy.  Service was decent.  Tasteful atmosphere.  Prices were about normal for the area.

By the time we had finished the place was getting full.

We took lunch leftovers with us.
Since we had eaten enough, we ordered dessert to go.

This is the blueberry and lemon mascarpone cake.  Isn't it lovely?  And quite good!

 But the one Zip and I both thought tasted the best was the cheesecake.  Light, creamy and better even than I make.  And I make a darn good cheesecake!

 I can't wait to see their dinner menu!

If you're in the area, check it out.  It's a step above the usual around here!
Happy eating and hooking!


Sunday, May 8, 2011

My Baby Girls are a Year Old!

And what a wonderful year it's been!
I don't think I've ever had two such delightful kittens, but then we've never had two at a time before.  It kind of takes kitty fun to a new level.  They are rambunctious to say the least!  And then we added Reggie to the mix.

We didn't celebrate with birthday cake or anything, just a few extra kitty treats and lots of attention (which they get EVERY day).

They were such cute babies!
We took this picture of Penny sitting on my shoulder right after we got her home.  Her birthday was last week.

Isabell's birthday is next week.  Here she is on her first day at our house.

Penny had to lay on a pillow and have Mom hold her all afternoon after her first vet visit!  She was not a happy camper!

They have grown up into such lovely young ladies. 

I love kitten antics and their nutty sense of humor, but the truth is, I prefer the intelligence and companionship of adult cats.

Izzy will now sit quietly with me and enjoy being petted. 

 One of her favorite things is to lay all over my sewing.

Penny is very loving and sweet but is still too busy playing to stay for long.

Penny is Zip's favorite little darling.  He spoils her shamelessly!

These two little girls have been a joy to us for their first year.  We are looking forward to many more years of love and companionship.

Thank you for gracing our lives, Penny and Isabell!
We Love You!!!