Rainy Days

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Today is day three of six days of rain. Sigh. Now, I can really enjoy a rainy day – hunkering down, putting on a pot of soup, sipping tea, reading. But, I must confess to a major case of ants in my pants! I have pots waiting to be scrubbed and filled with colorful flowers, patio furniture waiting to be uncovered and decked out with cushions and pillows. Yet, here I sit with visions of warm, sunny days dancing in my head. I guess I’ll just have to be patient.

I’m finding that being stuck inside also has some benefits. I’ve been spending time getting my guest room/office a bit more organized. I’m waiting for a console to be delivered to put my tv on and then all I’ll have to do is hang a few pictures, add some colorful pillows and a throw to the couch, and that room will be done. Yay!

I’m looking forward to this weekend when the sun is once again expected to make an appearance. In the meantime, I’ll enjoy the pretty yellow roses on my dining room table, the green house plants and some quiet time to read a good book.

Wishing you all a beautiful week.

Susan
XOXO

Starting From Scratch

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I have always loved embroidery, but I haven’t done much at all in the last several years. Since I love the meditative quality of hand stitching, I thought I’d start back at square one with some running stitches, back stitches, blanket stitches and couching. I was inspired by Rebecca Ringquit’s book, Embroidery Workshops. I’m moving on to Kazuko Aoki’s book, The Embroidered Garden. It’s a tutorial on embroidering delicate, beautiful flowers, butterflies and bees and I’m looking forward to trying my hand at this.

I always used the standard DMC #25 thread, using all 6 strands at once. I’ve learned that you can use this (without using all strands at the same time) and also #5 and #8, different yarns and metallic threads depending on what you’d like to accomplish. Ooooh, it’s going to be a fun couple of months experimenting with all of this.

The last picture I posted is a piece I started many years ago. I can’t believe how thick the stems on those flowers are. What was I thinking? Both of these books have been very inspiring and I’m loving every minute of moving my needle in and out of the fabric, calmly envisioning the possibilities of creative projects to come. The perfect way to spend a Spring afternoon.

Busy, Busy

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March is just flying by! I spent some time at the flower show with dear friends this month and was really bitten by the gardening bug. It’s still a bit too chilly to do much in the garden, but it won’t be too long now. Visions of pots overflowing with colorful blooms are filling my head these days.

I also spent a wonderful day with my daughter and granddaughters at the Bronx Zoo. I haven’t been there in years and found myself filled with wonder and awe as we went from one exhibit to the next gazing at all of these incredible animals. I can’t wait to go back again – we weren’t able to see everything in just one visit. As much as I enjoyed the zoo, I couldn’t help but feel sorry for these beautiful creatures being held in captivity.

I’m also in the middle of re-doing my office/guest room. We replaced the carpet with hardwood floors and as you can see, there’s stuff piled up everywhere. The guest room bathroom even has a tub filled with my stash of fabric! I’m going out tomorrow to hunt for some shelving and a console to put the TV on. Then it’s time to get everything organized. I can’t wait to have it finished. The contents of this room has overflowed to our bedroom so I’m really looking forward to having everything in its place again.

And what have you been up to? Are the temps in your area allowing you start planting yet? Are you also in the midst of a big project at home? Whatever it is that you’re filling your days with, I hope it brings you joy.

Have a wonderful day!

Susan
XOXO

Happy Easter

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Hello, dear friends. I just wanted to wish you all a Happy, Blessed Easter! Whether you’re spending the day alone or with family and friends, I hope you have a wonderful day! I’ll talk to you again soon!

With love,
Susan XOXO

Enjoying The Moments

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I’m finding that the older I get, the more I embrace the joy in simple things. Like the night I went to close the shutters in the bedroom at dusk and saw the most amazing sunset. Or sitting down with that first cup of coffee in the morning – what’s better than that?

I loved accompanying my daughter to Barnes and Noble where she likes to spend a couple of hours writing with a big cup of coffee. I wander the aisles, checking out the best sellers and spend ages scanning the covers of their huge selection of magazines – I brought a pile back to the table and sat and went through each of these, cover to cover. The morning just flew by and I enjoyed every minute of it. For the price of a cup of coffee, I had the pleasure of reading all my favorite magazines and some I’ve never seen before.

How about a trip to JoAnn’s Fabric, with a gift card in hand. I walked from one end of the store and back again before deciding on a beautiful piece of fabric to make new pillows for the living room to give a nice, spring feel to the room – on sale at half price! It made my day.

This winter, we’ve actually had much more rain than snow. I love these peaceful, rainy days. They’re perfect for a bit of crochet or sewing. I started a pincushion that I’ll finish this afternoon – yes, it’s drizzling again.

I hope you’re enjoying all the simple moments in your day. You can find them even in the midst of the busiest of times – all you have to do is look!

Have a beautiful week.

Susan
xoxo

Eating Our Way Through February

Things have been quiet around here – I had bronchitis, then my husband was quite sick and then he passed it back to me.  So lots of quiet time.  Time for reading, some crocheting, watching movies and EATING!  Nothing has seemed to hamper our appetites.  Bob picked us up some delicious, homemade New England clam chowder from a local farm stand.

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So creamy and delicious, filled with lots of clams and potatoes. On another evening, I found some shrimp in the freezer and made a quick stir fry.

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Just some peppers, garlic and broccoli with red pepper flakes and teriyaki sauce (and a squirt of agave.)

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I cooked some Thai noodles, which only take about 2 minutes, and stirred them into the veggies.

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Yum! It only took about 15 minutes and was so delicious. We’ve also been eating lots of oatmeal around here. Tastes so good with nuts and raisons or fresh berries. It works for me for both breakfast or dinner.

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Just like pancakes!

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I whipped up a big bowl of gluten free pancake batter, and made some for breakfast and then froze the rest for a quick weekend breakfast.

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When I got tired of standing at the stove, I put the remaining batter in a freezer bag for another day.

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And, of course there was a quick and easy pizza. I cheated with ready-made crust and just added sauce and mozzarella.

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And, Halos, those tiny, sweet, seedless tangerines – I’m hooked on these! Soooo delicious.

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I even tried out the crock pot, something I haven’t used in a couple of years.

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You can tell it’s ancient, but it still works. I just put in an onion and some garlic and put my salt and peppered little roast on top and added some beef broth and bay leaves. The house smelled good all day.

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I made some mashed potatoes in the morning so they just needed to be heated up at dinner-time and steamed some carrots quickly. It was so good. Definitely one of those stick-to-your-ribs kind of meals.

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And, then there was the seafood dinner. A piece of flounder, some shrimp and a baked clam along with spinach and mashed rutabaga – oh, my.

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That was one of my favorites.

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I admit to having a VERY hearty appetite lately. Even as I sit here writing this, I’m thinking about the leftover eggplant parmigiana in the fridge. Luckily, we’ve been eating lots of salads and fruits too and passing on sweets. Now that’s a hardship, considering the sweet tooth I have, but I’ve found the longer I go without sugar, the easier it is not to eat it. I do confess, to eating my fair share of chocolate on Valentine’s Day. But that’s just one day – I enjoyed every bite of it but today is a new day.

How about you? Do you find yourself spending more time in the kitchen this time of year or eating more than usual? Or is it just me.

Wishing you all a wonderful week ahead!

Susan
xoxo