A Good Year

Now at the cusp of a new year, I started reflecting on this past one and am glad to say that it was a good one. Our family is healthy and happy, a little older, maybe a little worse for wear, but still going strong. My husband realized a personal goal of making a pilgrimage walked by thousands before him. Our sons started their senior years in high school and are anxiously awaiting to hear from their chosen colleges. I received a surprise promotion earlier this year. My mom, who is usually full of vigor at 72, is starting to feel her age a bit and is fighting it the whole way. One of my brothers was elected to the school board of my hometown. We had our share of troubles, some minor, others not, but found our way through them and learned in the process. There are still some scars but they are healing. There are so many other reasons, large and small, for which to be thankful – hot summer days, shared meals with friends, a good book, down time, birthday celebrations, a rewarding job, a good hair day, and soft yarn.

Speaking of yarn, 2014 was also a good knitting year. My goal was to create from my stash, which has continued to grow. I accomplished this with one exception, the hat for my niece because she was very specific about wanting a neutral color. In total, I knit 10 items in 2014. They were all small projects for a couple of reasons: (1) I was trying to use up my stash especially where I had only one or two skeins of the same yarn/dye lot; and (2) With my work schedule, it takes me too long to complete larger projects and I wanted to show progress every month. So here are my 2014 FOs.

Another highlight in 2014 was discovering new yarn stores. One was discovered during a trip to Colombia – and what a glorious find that was! We came across two other shops during a trip to the Texas hill country. Click on any image to view on a larger screen.

(Stay tuned for another recent discovery in an upcoming post.)

In 2014, I also enjoyed the fabulous Kid ‘N Ewe Fiber Festival, had a fabulous Girl’s Weekend in the Texas hill country with my mom and aunt, and experienced Yarn Terrors when I found moths in my stash! And lastly, I enjoyed having my niece become a part of our family while attending college. All in all, 2014 was a great year.

Wishing everyone an amazing new year in 2015.

On this day, we give thanks

The day is beautiful and mild. All the windows in the house are open to let in the fresh air. The smell of onions and celery sautéing in the kitchen hang in the air with the promise of feasting.

Outside, it’s quiet but every time the wind blows, the neighbor’s trees shake loose their acorns and they roll down our rooftop and land in the driveway with a plop! My husband shakes his head. He swept up all the acorns this morning.

He scooped them all up in a box for me. I think these can be used to dye wool…

We are so thankful …

for our family, both near and far
for our children
for honest work that sustains us
for the love that binds us
for the cease-fire
(not taking sides, just tired of seeing the bodies of dead children)
for the promise of tomorrow.

Wishing all who read this peace, love and joy.

Supper on South Street

On my trip to Philadelphia, I had a few precious hours on Sunday afternoon in which to soak up as much of the local culture as possible. After a mad dash to the Historic District to visit Independence Hall and see the Liberty Bell, I made my way to South Street. South Street is an eclectic, bohemian neighborhood which has managed to maintain a historic look through years of gentrification. Some of the building facades with their stripped paint have a decaying quality while brand new structures like the Whole Foods grocery store serve as a focal point for the funky blend of South Street residents.

As I meandered my way past tiled mosaic exteriors, bars and boutiques, I almost walked past Supper. I had not eaten except for an apple at the airport so I was famished. I took a quick glance at the menu posted on the window and instantly knew I had come to the right place. Supper is a chef-owned restaurant that “serves seasonal farm-direct American cuisine.” Through a partnership with Blue Elephant Farm, a privately owned organic farm, they cook with and serve fresh produce grown exclusively for them.

Providence was with me because it happened to be Restaurant Week and Supper was serving a four-course meal for $35.

The Beverage

River Horse Double Wit, a Belgian style wheat brew with orange peel, lemon peel and coriander. Brewed in Pennsylvania.

The Hors d’oeuvre

Sriracha deviled eggs, freshly-baked rosemary bread and sweet cream butter.

First Course

BE Farm greens and herbs salad with ben’s apples, smoked chicken cracklins, cornbread croutons and buttermilk dressing.

Entree

BE Farms farro risotto with butternut squash, caramelized apple and mint.

Dessert

Butterscotch bread pudding with poached pears and spiced whipped cream.

Location

Supper is located at 926 South Street, Philadelphia, PA, in the South Street Headhouse District.

Super Sweet Blogging Award

Such sweetness! Agujas was nominated for the Super Sweet Blogging Award. My teeth hurt just from looking at all that sugar! A HUGE thanks goes to Knitting Revolution for sharing this award with Agujas.

In accordance with the rules, I will answer these five questions:

  1. Cookies or cake? Cake, definitely cake. I love German Chocolate cake, Coconut cake, Italian Creme cake. Cake, cake, cake!
  2. Chocolate or vanilla? It has to be smooth, creamy vanilla. Did you know vanilla comes from an orchid?
  3. Favourite sweet treat? Easy. Cold, sweet ice cream.
  4. When do you crave sweet things the most? Late at night.
  5. If you had a sweet nickname what would it be? Caramelo (in Spanish).

{Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5}

I am also delighted to nominate twelve sweet blogs for this award:

  1. Modflowers
  2. G-Ma Ellen’s Crochet Corner
  3. warmhotchocolate
  4. Serena Olivieri
  5. Roootreee Blog
  6. gone-rustic
  7. Now I’m Home
  8. belle cherie handmade
  9. Georgina Giles
  10. The {Tiny} Times
  11. The Middlest Sister
  12. Sugar and Cloth

Now all I need is a glass of milk!