Friday, January 29, 2016

Friday Photo

My son, Phillip, took this photo, at night, during the snow storm. I loved it so much I asked permission to post it here.

To see Nancy's Friday Photo visit her blog, A Present Moment.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Why I Moved South....

This past weekend is a perfect example of why I moved South.  I remember so clearly when both Jackson and I were done with our commitment to the US Army, we were living in Germany.  Both of my parents had crossed over, Jackson and I were talking about "what next....where next".  And neither of us enjoyed living where there was snow and cold.

I remember living and working in Maine.  I remember slipping and sliding on the ice as I crossed the parking lot to work.  I remember scraping my windshield every winter day.  I also remember sitting over the heater in the house, not being able to get warm.  Those are parts of Maine I did not like, I am not a cold weather person.

But the winters here are tolerable, even enjoyable at times, and are so quick to be over.  I think I have posted about this before.  It snowed this past weekend.  Enough that the boys could snowboard down the hill here at our house.  Jackson and I went for a walk in the woods.  I wore my LLBean boots for only the second time this year.  These boots get so little use that, even though they are over 20 years old, they still look like new. And my son made a snow man (that is his snowman up there in the corner).  I helped just a little, as did Jackson, but his creative efforts soon surpassed mine.

I made sure my bird feeders were kept full, and so enjoyed watching the birds come and go throughout the day.  It is amazing how spectacular they look against that white background.  I actually shoveled snow. Haven't had to shovel snow in years.  We have just never had enough to shovel.  It felt good to be out in the snow by choice, knowing that I could just pop back inside and warm up, I had no where I "had to be".  It is nice knowing that by the end of the week most, if not all, of this will be only a memory.

This is why I moved South.  Of course there are many more reasons now that we have lived here for 18 years, but this is why I moved here.  And this is one reason I love it here.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Essential Oil Shelf - Christmas Present

Here is another christmas present, from Jackson.  He made it himself and I love it.  It comes from wood from our property.  We cut dead standing trees for firewood to help keep us warm in the winter.  This particular tree was half eaten by termites but had a wonderful section that was untouched.  The wood was just so beautiful.  Jackson cut it down and then, using the chainsaw, cut beautiful planks.  They have been drying in the barn for a while and we use pieces from time to time.  I had mentioned to him that I would love a shelf for my essential oils, my cabinet is just hard, you reach in for one and 15 tip over.  So I was telling him what I would like and he made it for me.  As you can see it will hold so many more.  There are small cut outs to keep them upright, and he made them in the different size circumferences to hold the different size bottles that I have.  I just think the wood grain in this piece is beautiful.  LOVE IT!  And love the man that made it for me.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Soup for Syria: One of my Christmas Presents

My husband bought me a great christmas gift this year.  And in another post I will explain why he no longer buys my christmas presents, or any presents, without some guidance.  But this was something unexpected and wonderful.  First I opened the cookbook and there was a full page photo of dead fish.  As I looked at this page he said "there probably aren't many recipes for us in there, but I knew you would like the idea of the cookbook."  He was right and wrong.  As I looked through the cookbook there are MANY vegan recipes and recipes that can easily be made vegan.  There are some that are definitely meat based soups that really can't be changed without changing the whole concept of the recipe, but those are just a few.  But he was right, I do love the sentiment and intent of this project.

Here is the blurb from the cookbook web site "Interlink Publishing, a Massachusetts-based independent publishing house, has collaborated with bestselling cookbook author, photographer, and food writer Barbara Abdeni Massaad (Man'oushe: Inside the Lebanese Street Corner Bakery)—together with nearly 80 acclaimed chefs—on a humanitarian cookbook project whose profits will be donated to the UN Refugee Agency UNHCR to provide urgently needed food relief for Syrian refugees."

You gotta love that.  And if you care as much as I do, please visit the site and buy the cookbook.  You will not be disappointed.  We have made two of the soups so far and my boys enjoyed both.

Friday, January 15, 2016

Photo Friday

You all know who this is.  One of the very special men in my life.

To see Nancy's Photo Friday, please visit her blog, A Present Moment.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Swirled Comfort Turtleneck Poncho

I have been having a lot of fun making a couple of ponchos lately.  And they turned out so great.  I am in love with this Mushishi yarn, wool and silk and so soft and warm.  LOVE IT!!  Here is the pattern I created to make the poncho in the picture.  I will say that I am not a photographer or a pattern maker.  So I really tried to be descriptive in the pattern but if there are any questions please leave a comment and I will do my best to clear things up.  I have no problem with anyone sharing my pattern and HERE is the LINK to a pdf download of this pattern.  All I ask is that you leave my information on the pattern, so anyone can find me if they need to.  And you do not sell my pattern.  Of course you are free to sell anything you make using my pattern.  

Thanks so much, enjoy!

Swirled Comfort Turtleneck Poncho
Pamela Genant
My etsy store:

Size 9 circular needle or size needed to obtain gauge.  I used a 40 inch needle and magic loop for the top portion.  But you could use a shorter length and switch out when your need a longer circular needle.
5 stitch markers, one that is different from the other 4.
1150 yards of worsted weight yarn.  I used 3 balls Mushishi, wool/silk in color #13 (491 yards/250 gms per ball), but I did have quite a bit left over.
Scrap yarn of the same weight as your main yarn

Gauge: 3.5 stitches per inch and 5 rows per inch

P2tog=Purl 2 together
Kfb=Knit front and back of that stitch
YO=Yarn over
PM=Place marker
SM=Slip marker


  1. Using your scrap yarn cast on 76 stitches, place marker (use s different marker so you can identify the end of the row) and join in the round.  Before you start knitting, place the remaining 4 markers.  18 stitches from beginning of row PM, 2 stitches PM, 36 stitches  PM, 2 stitches PM.  There should be 18 stitches remaining before the end of the row. 
  2. Knit 4 or 5 rows (in the round) with scrap yarn and then switch to your main color yarn.  Poncho is knit entirely in the round.

Poncho Body

Row 1: K
Row 2: K
Row 3: K
Row 4: *K to 1 st before M, Kfb, SM, Kfb* repeat from * to * 3 times.  K to end of row. ( increasing 8 stitches total)
Row 5: K
Row 6: K
Row 7: K
Row 8: *K to 1 st before M, Kfb, SM, Kfb* repeat from * to * 3 times.  K to end of row. (increasing 8 stitches total)
Row 9: *YO, P2tog*  repeat to end of row
Row 10: K
Row 11: K
Row 12: *K to 1 st before M, Kfb, SM, Kfb* repeat from * to * 3 times.  K to end of row. (increasing 8 stitches total)
Rows 13-124: repeat Rows 5-12, 14 times
Row 125-128: repeat Rows 5-8

Poncho Boarder

Row 1: *K1P1 repeat from * around
Row 2: K
Row 3-22: Repeat Rows 1-2, 10 times

Picot Bind Off
Cast on 2 stitches
Bind off 5 stitches
*Move stitch on right needle back to the left needle
Cast on 2 stitches
Bind off 5 stitches
Repeat from * around
Cut yarn and weave in end.


Pick up 76 stitches from provisional cast on with main yarn, discard scrap yarn
Place stitch marker for end of row and join in the round

Row 1: *K1P1 repeat from * around
Repeat Row 1 until neck measure 7 inches or is the length you want.

Picot Bind Off
Cast on 2 stitches
Bind off 5 stitches
*Move stitch on right needle back to the left needle
Cast on 2 stitches
Bind off 5 stitches
Repeat from * around
Cut yarn and weave in end.

Weave in any loose ends remaining.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Climate Change: Chloe and Theo

If you haven't had a chance to watch Chloe and Theo, you really should.  It is on netflix, instant watch and I thought it looked a bit boring from the intro, but the written blurb does not do the movie justice.  It is a story about an Inuit man looking to share the plight of his people, who meets an unlikely friend in Chloe.  The story is engaging and also touches deep with climate change as well as many other issues of our time.  Just a great film that even had Jackson in tears at the end.

Friday, January 8, 2016

Photo Friday-Bird Watching

I was commenting a couple of weeks ago about how I needed to keep my binoculars in the living room so I could see the birds at my feeders without disturbing them.  Going out the door spooks the poor things and it takes so long for them to come back so I can watch them again.  Jackson had this scope in the basement. He used it hunting, which was long before he met me.  It has been down there in storage since we moved here.  He dug that out and attached it to the tripod and now I have the perfect bird watching spot.  Every time I pass by, I peek out to see what is happening.  I have a few goldfinches that swing by, cardinals (of course), mourning doves, chickadees, and a red headed woodpecker.  The woodpecker is so fun to watch. He is one of the only birds that enjoys the more expensive bird feeders with the round disc underneath that catche falling seeds.  He hangs onto the plate and pecks at the seed in the feeder above.  Looks just like he is attached to a tree.  Most of the birds seem to prefer the cheap $5 feeders I picked up at Tractor Supply.

I started out with one pole and two feeders.  My youngest son made me another pole for Christmas and so now I have 4 feeders out there.  LOVE IT!!  I will have to take a photo of the pole my son made some day. The poles work beautifully as the squirrels can't seem to climb them and I have them located away from trees so there is no jumping.  Now I keep my scope at the window all the time and enjoy watching the birds without them spotting me.  Maybe this year I will participate in The Great Backyard Bird Count.

This is a cooperative blogging post.  To see Nancy's Friday Photo, visit A Present Moment.

Monday, January 4, 2016

Little Lost Cove Cliffs Trail to North Harper Creek Falls Trail

A cold morning but it was NOT raining so Jackson and I headed out Sunday morning for a nice hike.  The temps were chilly, hovering around 35 degrees but we dressed accordingly and had a great hike.  Sunday morning is a great time to hike as, here in The South, we pretty much have trails to ourselves.

We started with the Little Lost Cove Cliffs Trail as we have had a lot or rain lately and Jackson thought the creek crossing near the beginning of the North Harper Creek Falls Trail might be impassable.  So if we started on the other end we would have more hiking in before we had to decide on those obstacles.  And he was right.

The Little Lost Cove Cliffs hike is an uphill hike to amazing views all around.  We took pics on one side then crossed over through the trees to the other side of the cliffs and took photos on that side.  All beautiful.  The air was just so crisp and clean, I could have stayed here a while.  But knowing that we were less than half way through the hike, we moved on.  The hike from here is no where but DOWN.  Challenging because the trail is covered in fall leaves, and beneath those leaves were loose rocks and sticks, just made for slower going for me as I still have this slight fear in me with every step.  Don't want to fall.

We made it down this trail to a dirt road and continued on to the North Harper Creek Falls Trail.  This trail is pretty easy, downhill, nice wide trail.  We followed the creek in places.  Lots of like streams coming down the mountain that were beautiful but not difficult to cross.  The idea is when you finish this trail you are almost back to where you started.  Just a short walk on a dirt road and you would be done.

Well we reached on of the creek crossings.  OK so probably knee deep, ice cold, slippery rocks on the bottom and the creek was running pretty fast.  We did try to cross, barefoot, but it was just too difficult. Knowing that there were more creek crossings up ahead we decided to turn around and head back up, up, up the mountain the way we came.  Made for a much longer hike, but safer, and I am all about safety when hiking these days.

Still an overall great hike.  I would love to do this one again when the creek is a little lower.  And the air temps are not quite as cold.

Amazing to watch the water pass by and fall over the edge.  We couldn't see the waterfall from here but it made a great stopping point for just a minute.