Your greatness is not what you have, it's what you give.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Happy Houseplants

A bunch of my orchids are blooming this spring. I thought you might enjoy seeing them and that it puts you in a "happy place" as it does to me.

I looked out my window the other morning and was greeted with this lovely display of blossoms. These are the clematis in my "Serenity Center" otherwise known as the kids' swing set which was so solidly built we couldn't tear it down. DH and I decided to go to "Plan B" and make lemonade out of lemons, hence the Serenity Center.

Thank you Mother Nature, for all the beautiful flowers!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Dinner with the Chicks

Yesterday the Chicks had a "night out with the girls". We had dinner at Rita's Lebanese Cafe on North Allen Street in Albany, NY. It's a quaint little restaurant not far in from Central Avenue, for those of you who are aquainted with the area.

The inside is cozy and colorfully decorated with photos and paintings of Lebanon and all things related. In the background you can hear softly playing music, which a couple of times I had to restrain myself not to get up and do an impromptu belly dance. LOL! Those drums get me every time!
Going around the table from lower left there was Barb, Maureen, Catie, Kathleen, Liz, and me. We had just finished appetizers of stuffed grapeleaves, hummos, tabuli, baba ghannouj, pickled turnips, olives, and a cucumber dip called Labneh. We were about to dig into our main entrees of kibbee, felafel, and pita wraps of chicken and beef. Everything was soooooo good! The flavors and aromas were intoxicating. You can smell and taste the cinnamon, allspice, mint, and garlic in some of the dishes. It's real comfort food like you used to get at Grandma's house....if your Grandma were Lebanese. LOL!
Thanks again, Rita and Tony for a wonderful dinner and a good night out with the Chicks!

We'll be back again for some more of your delicious food!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Home Again!

Last Tuesday we Chicks had a quiet, busy afternoon. Karen, on the far right, was working on a pretty lace camisole for her daughter. Elaine, in the middle, was working on her pink poncho and Barbara designed a royal blue and blue tweed poncho using Encore yarns.

The "Crochet Queen" closeup view.
Liz, in the center, was working on a feather and fan afghan and Kathleen was making mittens.
The feather and fan pattern is one of those old standards that always looks pretty.
DH and I just got back from a few days relaxation in Hilton Head Island, S.C. I had a rough start because of a really snotty TSA agent at the Albany Airport (it's ok to bring 3oz. of shampoo, but apparently 3.5oz. is grounds for suspicion!) but as soon as we arrived at H.H.I. I could smell the fresh sea air and everything was right with the world again.
I spent a lot of time knitting by the pool surrounded by these lovely hibiscus blossoms.

On Sea Pines Plantation, at the very end of the island, is a commercial area with shops and restaurants and these beautiful macaws. The Blue and Gold macaws sat preening themselves in the shade...

while the Scarlett macaw appointed himself official greeter and said hi to anyone who stopped to listen.

We ate lunch at a place that sat at the edge of the harbor overlooking the playful dolphins that darted all about. The sun was strong that day but the puffy clouds helped to block it occasionally.

There were egrets and herons everywhere but they were not very cooperative when it came to having their photographs taken. This one just happened to be standing still long enough for me to capture him before he took off again.
On our way back to the airport on Monday we had time to sightsee a little in Beaufort, S.C. The house that was owned by John Mark Verdier back in 1824 was nicknamed the Lafayette House because it was where Lafayette greeted the townspeople on his year long tour through the colonies almost 50 years after the Revolution. The story goes that the boat that was bringing him into town for his speech got caught up on a sandbar and they had to wait for high tide to come in so the boat could float to the dock. As a result Lafayette arrived very late, at about 10PM, ran down the alley across from this beautiful house, spoke to the adoring crowd for 10 minutes from the lower porch, and then left.

The house went through many different uses after it left the possession of the Verdier family, as you can see by the next photo. And by the 1940's it was slated for demolition. Luckily, it was saved and is still now in the process of renovations. A professional restorer has determined the actual colors of the house and it is being recreated to it's original beauty.
The jewelry artist Lee Perry and her sister made this mermaid, "Miss Beaufort" to greet visitors as they enter the city.
The Spanish moss hangs everywhere in the trees giving some streets a very eery feeling.
We had a wonderfully relaxing vacation and it was over all too soon but I did manage to finish one whole sock and get halfway through a second before we arrived back home.

And it felt really good to be back home again.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

A Belated Happy Mother's Day!

I was making the rounds this weekend to visit and take my mom out to lunch on Saturday and then drive to visit my daughter, son-in-law and Moose on Saturday night and Sunday. DD wrote a special Mother's Day song for her children's choir to perform this morning. It was a four hankie tear jerker! I thought I could get through the whole song without crying, but no such luck. It was beautiful and her choir sang it beautifully, enunciating every word so clearly that you could understand the whole song. Thank you Amanda and Joyful Voices of the Springfield Baptist Church for helping to make my Mother's Day very memorable.

We arrived on Saturday evening in time to watch Moose and his friend Timmy while their parents practiced their music for their contemporary worship band. Poppop was recruited to help rock the seesaw, which was a big hit with the boys.

Moose really enjoyed the rocking!
He even stood still long enough for me to snap a picture of his new haircut.

After about an hour in the playground Poppop and I were pooped! We decided storytime was a good idea. Apparently, the boys did too.

Today, Sunday, we all went to the Horticultural Center in Philadelphia to enjoy a Mother's Day picnic. The weather was very pleasant and Moose really enjoyed his hummus and crackers as a side dish to his yogurt.

The adults enjoyed their Italian Hoagies too, that's a sub sandwich for us northerners.
After lunch the boys went for a walk, led by the Moose. Three generations of explorers. Cute!
Here's a stick that would make a good golf club! Poppop is so proud!

We had such a wonderful celebration today.
I hope all you Moms out there had a great day too.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

This week with the Chicks

I neglected to take photos of the afternoon ladies. Forgive me Chicks! But this week the evening group (all three of us) are in the spotlight. Shhhhh....Joyce is concentrating on the ribbing of the turtleneck collar of a poncho.
We have to be careful we don't get her laughing too much. We don't want to be responsible for having to frog anything. LOL!
Maureen finished the beautiful baby sweater and matching blanket. She commented on how much it made her think of her late mother-in-law, who taught her how to make this set many years ago, and how much she is missed.
I'm working on another pair of Jaywalkers, this time for my mother for Mother's Day. I started them last Thursday, April 30 and finished them this morning while I waited for the oil change in my car.
I used Cherry Tree Hill Yarn in the Misty Moor colorway. It reminds me of the irises in my mother's garden.

They are all ready to be wrapped and delivered.

My next project is a secret because the recipient might see it on this blog and then it won't be a surprise. But someday in the near future I'll be posting about it. Until then, keep those needles clicking!