Winter's Upon Us

I've really been enjoying my view from my office-et-keeping room, which overlooks the back yard.  With three 48" wide x 72" high windows forming a bay across the back wall (as shown in the '09 photo to the right), I can see lots of wildlife when I'm at my desk.  The photo to the left is just one of about a thousand (OK, I'm exaggerating a tad...:) that I have taken of the Eastern Bluebirds that are frequenting our feeders this month.  Oh, we've seen them at other times of the year, but not nearly as prominently as in the past few weeks.  There seem to be three that are in a family group that appear at the same time.  Am I seeing different groups of 3 at different times of the day?  Not sure.  We also have at least four different kinds of woodpeckers at the suet feeders:  Downy, Hairy, Red-bellied, and Flickers.

Then, when I turn the other way (looking into the room/house), I see the fireplace...which I've kept going almost constantly during the current Cold Snap. Makes it hard to do any actual w-o-r-k at my desk, don't you know?

I've been concentrating lately on planning N/M/E's upcoming 90th birthday celebration.  We'll be gathering in Nashville in mid-April to raise a glass of punch in her honor, hopefully with family and friends in attendance. I'll add updates in my posts over the next few weeks.

Weather update:  we are still in the mid-30's here, with a bit of snow falling this morning.  The local weatherman called it "a novelty item."  Hmmm.  I guess he was trying to say that we shouldn't be expecting any more?  At least not until the weekend.  Anyway...we have beautiful blue skies, making it appear to be warmer outside than it actually is.  I walked to the mailbox without a sweater or coat earlier and had to hurry back to the warmth of my fireplace.  I think I'll make some Brunswick Stew and a loaf of yeast bread for supper...that should be just the ticket.

Before I get started, I'll pull out the Family cookbook, using N/M/E's recipe for the Stew (which is similar to that link from Southern Living, but which does NOT use baked beans).  I'll also try that link to the bread recipe as I'm always on the lookout for a good/new one.  I'll let you know how it comes out!

Then, later on this evening I'll get back to my latest knitting project (of which I have started about 4 since the first of the year...:).  I lucked into a fabulous sale at the Stitch Point the other day (when I went back to get a couple more skeins of the yarn I'm planning on using for my Ravelympics project in February...more on that in a later post).  I literally stumbled across a sale basket of Country Silk (85% wool, 15% silk) and project booklet #949 by Cleakheaton (an Australian yarn company), all of which had been marked down 40%.  They had a shop sample done of one of the sweaters in the booklet (an argyle pattern) that I had already noticed on my previous trip...but I hadn't asked about it because I truly didn't need another yarn or project in my queue.  Well, I couldn't pass this one up now, could I?  When I sat down to swatch the yarn on the day I bought it, I just couldn't stop knitting!  I have finished one of the sleeves (which I did as my swatch...:) and started on the second one already.  Since there is no pattern stitch to the sleeves (just knitting and purling and increasing then decreasing), I can knit while watching basketball problem.  When I entered my new project into Ravelry today, I noticed that this yarn had been discontinued.  Always seems to happen when I fall in love with a fibre.  Sigh.'s 4:00.  Gotta get the Stew going and the bread rising.  I'm hungry already!


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