Sunday, February 18, 2018

Some Old and Some New

Greetings my friends on a chilly Sunday afternoon.  It was a lovely, warm day today until a couple of hours ago and the cold weather from up North has made it to SoCal.  We're suppose to have freezing temps these next few nights!  I know, I shouldn't complain but it is unusual for most folks who live down here :)

There's so many things I want to share with you and write about.  But, sometimes I am at a loss for words.  My heart is heavy these past few days with yet another school shooting.  I admire those high school students who are now speaking up and I am with them all the way.  One day I will tell you the story about the school shooting that took place in our little town in Eastern Washington.  That will be for another time.

Besides babysitting my little grandchildren these past few days (morning, noon and night), I had a dinner party last week.  It's always enjoyable for me to plan the menu, set the table and all the other things that are needed.

This time I decided to use my Mom's Community Silverplate.  This flatware and chest have been around for as long as I can remember.  I think my Mom would have purchased it back in the early 1950's.  After my Mom passed away back in 1993, I kept this as a keepsake and didn't use it.  Until last weekend. . .

It so happened that I rediscovered this flatware through a dear blog friend I recently met via her blog.  Margaret has the same flatware and had written about it on her blog.  Of course I commented to say I have the same pattern!
It was so interesting to learn about the history of this flatware pattern.  The name of the pattern in the US is Coronation.  In the UK, it is known as Hampton Court.  Originally, it was designed and introduced back in 1936, in honor of Edward VIII becoming King of England.  Of course, as you know, he abdicated the throne to marry Wallis Simpson.  Hence, the name was changed for the UK market but stayed the same for the US.  When I set my table last weekend I found that I do have a complete service for 8 along with an extra  dinner fork along with 8 extra teaspoons.  So, I hurried over to Ebay where I found a matching knife and dessert fork so that my set can now serve 9.  Hopefully, one day I can pass this set onto my little granddaughter for the next generation. 

Now for the new, the bed is complete.  After the bed arrived, it was another two weeks for the mattress to arrive via Costco.  It worked out great as Costco's price and quality couldn't be matched at the places I checked out.

Lilly was quite pleased to check out the new blanket and gave her approval :)

Between watching the little ones, cooking and cleaning and the never ending paperwork, I started on my new sock pattern.  It's a fun easy pattern and I love the yarn.  However, I'm finding it's a bit hard to work in the evenings as the dark yarn against the dark needles can be trying.

Yesterday, my husband and I had a wonderful time with an impromptu dinner at the beach followed by grocery shopping at my favorite Persian market.  So, there's plenty of goodies to make some nice dishes for the upcoming week.  I'll sign off now since my homemade vegetable soup is ready to serve along with homemade corn muffins.  It's cold outside!

It's always a joy to hear from you.  Please feel free to say "hi" if you  wish.

Until next time,


Tuesday, February 6, 2018

A Fun Day Spent Shopping

Greetings everyone.  I hope your week is off to a great start wherever you may be.  I had a lovely day today. I accomplished my housework early this morning since I knew I would be out and about.

My daughter met me for some shopping and a quick lunch afterwards.  We had a fun time together finding those bargains we can't do without :)  I just had to buy some fresh flowers for the home before they raise the prices for Valentine's Day.

After lunch, I took myself over to Home Goods which is just down the road from where I live.  Look what I found!  I've read about these for years and have never tried them.  You might think it's funny, but I don't eat chocolate...long story about allergies.  I think dark chocolate may be OK - I'll soon find out.  The rose flavor was interesting in these as compared to the rose flavor I find in Middle Eastern food.  I'm going to serve them to my guests at the dinner party I'm having on Sunday.  While at Home Goods I perused the linen department looking for Italian linens.  I found a set of Italian made 100% linen sheets but I didn't buy them.  I'm sure they would be wonderful but I hesitated.  I did find a new bedspread that should work great.  (I know they're not called that anymore but I forgot the new name...)

Speaking of flowers, I planted some bulbs in pots this past winter and they are beginning to come up.  My favorite is the hyacinth.  And, my hellebore, lenten rose, has many buds.  I'm so happy that it survived the poor soil it lives in.  As a coincidence, the new Sock Society pattern I just received is called Winter Rose.

And, look at my geraniums blooming.  I love the white one.  In the middle is an Arabian Jasmine that has the most fragrant flowers.  It reminds me of Egypt when my husband took me there on my very first trip.  We were at Casino El Nil in Cairo (not a gambling casino), on the Nile River.  Flower sellers were selling necklaces of jasmine and they were heavenly.  It was my first time to eat ice cream with mastic (an aromatic resin from the mastic tree).  The addition of mastic changes the texture of the ice cream.  It is very popular in Turkish ice creams, too.  Sadly, I don't eat ice cream anymore due to allergies :(

For those of you who don't knit or crochet, I won't bore you with any patterns, etc.  But, please wish me luck as I'm baffled with my new sock pattern. . .

Lilly sends her greetings to each of you.  She had a restful afternoon sitting in my chair and taking her afternoon nap.  Until next time. . .

My best wishes,


Saturday, February 3, 2018

My Universe is Complete

Hello my friends.  Do you like the title of my post?  Haha, a play on words.  My Sophie's Universe blanket is finally completed! It's new home will be in Turkey.

You may remember that I began this project back in July of 2017.  I diligently worked on it every day until I left for Turkey and when I returned home, it kind of sat in a bag in the closet.

But, like many of you, I hate to have unfinished projects.  So, since the middle of January I have been working to get this blanket completed.  I added my own design for the border (starts with the green leaves shown above), as I loved doing the red roses and wanted to incorporate it the edging. It's such an intricate designed blanket that I felt it needed a little more pizazz for a border.

Here's the little bag of yarn leftovers from this project.  I must say, this blanket is a yarn eater!  Originally, I purchased 15 shades of yarn but ended up using 13 skeins.  I had purchased this yarn to make another Attic24 coastal ripple blanket in a different color combination. But, after working on it awhile, I frogged it.  My inspiration for this blanket was Kate over at Kate's Adventures; look at her gorgeous blanket she made! Isn't it amazing with that additional border? I ran out of energy and yarn to make my blanket any larger. . .  

I completed my Vintage Fairy Lights socks.  This was a fun and easy knit from talented designer Helen Stewart.  I'm now awaiting to begin The Handmade Sock Society.  My new DPNs and sock yarn are ready! 

It's Saturday night here and my little grandchildren just left.  My dear children pictured above, took off for a short 3 day cruise.  So, I and my dear son-in-law along with my dear husband, took care of the little ones.  It was a fun time for all.  We will all be cruising together later in the summer.  

Tomorrow is Super Bowl Sunday and I know absolutely nothing about football.  But, we will celebrate on this day nonetheless.

Take care my dear friends and thank you again for all your great advice regarding my new bed.  The bed arrived a week ago, is all put together and now I'm waiting on the new mattress.  Patience. . .

With my best wishes,


Sunday, January 21, 2018

Buying a New Bed - Confusing?

Hi everyone.  I'm back again this week with a new post but I'm confused.  I'll explain in a bit. . .

My son surprised me with a new phone and it's been fun exploring the different aspects of the camera (it automatically made the photo above from the photo shown at the bottom of this post).  Earlier in the week, we had perfect weather for sitting outside.  Today, the sun is out but it was a bit nippy early this morning, although I see it's warmed up to 68 degrees.

Here's what I'm confused about.  I'm getting a new bed and mattress for the master bedroom.  It's become a rather detailed job.  I bought a new King headboard/baseboard online and it won't be delivered until sometime next week (hopefully).  The bed shown above will be dismantled and put in one of the guest rooms.

Here's the newly painted wall in the guest room.  Originally, I had made a artsy type headboard from two pieces of carved wood that had attached to the wall.  Of course, we had to take them down and the wall needed to be patched and painted (by me, of course :)  It's now ready to have the bed/mattress from the master bedroom moved in and set up.

But there's more. . . the queen mattress set that was in this guest room is now going to be sold.  However, the box springs to this set belongs to the mattress in the downstairs guest room.  So, another switch needs to be done.

It's become one job after another.  Hopefully, the bed will arrive in perfect shape and we can put it together.  I've already bought a set of new sheets (which I loved shopping for), along with a new blanket.  But, I'm totally out of the loop when it comes to proper bedding.  There are no "bedspreads" now days.  All duvet sets.  I'm going to enlist the help of my daughter, who is an expert on these things.

Here's the bed I ordered (photo courtesy of Wayfair).  My daughter told me it looks like what old people like!  That's OK as I'm happy to be old.   Last but not least, we have to buy a new mattress!  Luckily, I live in an area where there's lot of choices.  Too many choices, maybe.  I think I'll go with Costco as they have an excellent price on a brand I want and a no hassle return policy.  And, best of all, they deliver and place it on your bed for free!

Oh, there's a little more to this story.  My dear husband helped my son take the mattress from the guest room out to the garage.  I didn't think much of it.  But, yesterday, he had terrific chest pain and couldn't breath.  We went to the ER last night and thankfully, he checks out OK.  We're thinking it's because he lifted and used some muscles he hadn't used in a long time.

I'm hoping this saga of the new bed will soon be over.  

Sending everyone my best wishes,


Thursday, January 11, 2018

Homemade Bread, Etsy Purchases and Grandchildren

Hello my friends.  I'm sitting here on a bright, sunny afternoon, enjoying the freshness after our rainstorm on Tuesday.  When it rains, it can pour down here in southern California.  Our pool is filled to the top but luckily it didn't overflow.  I feel so sad for all those people who have lost life or home from the ravages of the floods due to the Thomas Fire (which is about 100 miles north of where I live).  Sometimes, we can take things for granted.  I'm so thankful every day.

Being thankful, I'm so thankful for the many blog friends I have met.  I get so many great ideas from all of you.  It can be books, fiber arts, recipes, gardening or just some great advice now and then.  The other day I was reading Morning's Minion's blog and she had shared her recipe for some wonderful homemade bread.  She's an expert bread baker! I used to bake bread regularly but for the past few years, my yeast baking has consisted of rolls.  Today, I made the bread pictured above.  You can find my recipe at the bottom of this post if you wish to try it.  (I think it didn't proof enough hence the crack in the loaf).

The title of this post today mentions Etsy purchases.  I've finished my latest  needlepoint and I found this much needed little thread catcher on Etsy.  Isn't this just an adorable little fabric bag?  And, it was like $5.00!

I think I shared with you that I joined The Handmade Sock Society and I'm anxiously awaiting for the first pattern release.  I wanted (but didn't need :)) a new sock project bag.  I found this adorable little project bag from this seller on Etsy.  It was a great buy, too!  I used to sew back in the old days.  But, my sewing skills are circa 1970's and it makes me nervous with clipping all those threads, etc.  Hence, my love of knitting/crochet/needlepoint.

For the past few months, my dear husband has been having some medical tests are still inconclusive.  On our way home from the doctor on Tuesday, during a torrential downpour, we stopped at Trader Joe's and I just had to buy this colorful cyclamen complete with the flower pot.  I'm wondering if this is a plant and I can keep and have it bloom again?

My little granddaughter is here for a couple of nights.  Here she is at her home helping her Mom set the table.  Her older brother (my first grandchild), will join her tomorrow for a fun time with Grandma and Grandpa.  The joys of being a grandparent!

I hope that the New Year is being good to you.  Lilly is doing well and wanted me to send her "meows" to everyone, too!  Until next time . . .

My best wishes,

Pat's Whole Wheat Bread
2 cups lukewarm water
1 package dry yeast
scant 1/3 cup honey/molasses mixture (you can use all honey if you wish or brown sugar)
2 Tablespoons oil
1/2 Tablespoon salt
3 cups Trader Joe's pastry whole wheat flour*
2 cups all purpose flour*

I used my Kitchenaid mixture to make/knead this dough.  I placed the water in the warmed bowl and added the yeast.  Let it sit about 5 minutes.  Add in honey/molasses mixture, oil, salt and 3 cups of the whole wheat flour.  Start mixer to begin combining the ingredients.  You can give it a good stir with a large wooden spoon.  Add in all purpose flour, gradually, until mixture becomes a ball.  Don't add too much as you want a soft dough.  Knead a few minutes in the machine and then remove beater and cover dough and let it rise for at least one hour.

Punch down dough and divide into four balls of equal size.  Let the balls rest for about 10 minutes.  Grease well two 9 x 5 bread pans.  Shape each ball into a nice ball and place two balls in each pan.  Let rise for about an hour.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Place bread pans in oven and bake for 30 minutes or until they sound "hollow".  Place a clean tea towel on the counter and put a cooling rack on top.  Remove bread from pans onto cooling rack.  Brush tops with butter.  Let cool and then slice or freeze them as you wish.

* I keep my whole wheat flour in the frig to prolong it's life.  But, when I looked at it today, it wasn't fresh so I used instead this Trader Joe's pastry flour.  It worked great as it's just a finer ground whole wheat flour.  In you use regular whole wheat flour, I would use two cups whole wheat to 3 cups of all purpose flour.  It's up to you whether you enjoy a fine textured bread versus a coarse textured bread.



Monday, January 1, 2018

A Great Start to the New Year

 Happy New Year dear friends.  I hope that you had a wonderful Christmas holiday and a great start to the New Year.  I've had a wonderful holiday season with my family.
 Yesterday afternoon all the family ventured to the Montage Resort where we sat outside on the veranda and enjoyed coffee.  It was a perfect afternoon to watch the ocean and do a little people watching, too!  It was my daughter's idea (photo above) and we all agreed that this was a great way to start the New Year's Eve celebrations.

 Christmas at my home has been all boxed up until next year (although I hope the true meaning of Christmas is in my heart throughout the coming year).  My home is slowly coming back to it's normal, eclectic decor.  My dear son bought me these lovely pink carnations.  They brighten up the family room.

My beloved knitting needles have made a reappearance, too this season.  I'm knitting a pair of socks from the very talented Helen Stewart.  They're called Vintage Fairy Lights socks and you can find the info here on my Ravelry page. (Lilly insists on sitting my my lap when I'm knitting!)

I love to knit socks.  I taught myself how to knit them; unbeknownst to me that they can be a bit of a challenge. Luckily, I and my four DPN's get along very well.  I love the yarn I found on Etsy.  It's from Southern Skeins; she is an indie dyer from Florida.  Her yarn creations are so lovely and best of all, her prices are very reasonable!  My yarn is called "frosted berries"  which I thought was so appropriate for this project.

Speaking of the very talented Helen, she will be hosting The Handmade Sock Society.  There will be six sock patterns included in this KAL.  I can hardly wait until it begins in February.  Fun times ahead!

I received some beautiful and useful things for Christmas.  I love the perfume tray that my dear daughter and her family gave to me.  It sits on top of my Grandma's antique bird's eye maple chest which is in my closet.  It was fun to clean and rearrange the top of this much loved chest.

Lilly wanted to say "hello" to everyone.  She had a great holiday and is enjoying her catnip toys.  I hope everyone out there who has furry family loved ones, to wish them all the best for the New Year, too.

Thank you dear friends for being my friend and visiting my blog.  I wish everyone a very Happy New Year.

With my best wishes,


Tuesday, December 26, 2017

The #stitchingsanta Reveal

 Hello dear readers.  I hope you had a wonderful Christmas holiday.  Back in October, I signed up for the #stitchingsanta over at SewChat.  I thought it would be a fun holiday activity.

 There were two different categories; sewing or crochet/knitting.  As you might guess, I signed up for crochet/knitting.

 My lovely package from Jessica, arrived in plenty of time before Christmas.  I could hardly wait to open these goodies. . .

As you can see, I received two lovely skeins of alpaca yarn (I already have a scarf pattern picked out for this yarn), along with a journal, darling little heart, a wonderful book on lace knitting (it has a treasure trove of exciting patterns), a lovely little necklace, a real live Christmas tree seed, teas and Jessica even included some holiday catnip treats for Lilly!  THANK you dear Jessica for everything as you really spoiled me!

The way the swap works, you send to a different person than whom you receive from.  So, I sent the goodies above to Autumn over at Entrophy Creations.  Sorry you can't see the "candy cane" pink yarn since I had already wrapped it up before snapping this photo.  
Autumn makes the cutest little crocheted creature and she also knits, too!

That about wraps it up for me in regard to the #stitchingsanta swap.  It will be fun to see what everyone received!

Have fun dear readers during this last week of 2017!

With my best wishes,