I’d rather be…..

I’d rather be……40694583561_ce12afcafa_k (1)

Knitting, of course.   The Weekly Photo Challenge created by Krista Stevens 

“How would you fill in the blank?”    I’d Rather Be…

If given the choice, what would you rather be doing, right now?

So many possibilities.

I was knitting at a friend’s home, Finishing up these PairPerfect Socks.  The Regia yarn 75% wool 25% nylon designed by Arne and Carlos is dyed so it turns out looking like you really did something fancy.  You get two identical socks, knit from the top down.  When the colors change, you go on to the next step.  It falls into almost mindless knitting category.

A Happy Valentine from 2007, Found While Cleaning

This photo and note were sent to me in 2007 by my dear friend Dorothy Holley.

I found it today (Valentine’s Eve?) while cleaning a desk I rarely use. It was a lovely find as Dorothy passed in June 2010.

I included her note on the back, telling how she took it through a window and a screen.

Now and then I see one in my yard, too. Cardinals look stunning against the evergreen by my porch, especially in the snow. Dorothy loved the birds and waited to capture this picture.

She was a good encourager to me.

Placed her Valentine’s photo on red paper to take a shot with my phone to share with you.

If you’ve followed the blog, you’ve “met” Dorothy before.The Quart Jar Poet film is for sale as a fundraiser for Madwomen in the Attic, Carlow University.



And here’s a poem by Liane Ellison Norman about Dorothy’s iris.


Learning to Knit Mittens

Five hours in. Knitting a mitten.  A Baby Alpaca yarn mitten. I looked at the clock. I knew what time I turned on the TV and what time I turned it off .Time to stop knitting and get to bed.

The Weekly Photo Challenge is relax but I remember some people found learning to knit stressful. Have to get past the possibly awkward part of learning the basics before you get to the Zen. Holding the needles. Finding the right place to stick the point.

My friend Ann texted (after a volley of texts about the miserable weather and whether we really NEEDED yarn) that she’d pick me up and we’d go to Oakmont to the Yarns by Design store.  She brought a fingerless mitt and a matching cowl she’d completed and since I had the same pattern at home –Susan B. Anderson Waiting for Winter Mittens pattern– I felt inspired to knit mittens  Thanks, Ann.

Now I Thought I’d start the new effort in the morning .. but the new yarn spoke to me and I started.

Ann said they worked up faster than socks. She’s right about that!



Remember the Wildflowers Painted by My Friend?

The Pennsylvania wildflowers were painted on her beehives -see the Wildflower paintings on Beehives by Joan

Here’s one jar of the thirty pounds of honey she harvested with the help of two fellow bee experts. 

They brought their extractor with them to show and teach her how to harvest the honey. 

She shared the honey with them and learned how to do it herself but was best with the team. (I’m sorry I don’t recall how long it took but a few hours.) 

And I can tell you that it tastes beautifully delicious, full of summer flowers. I’ll have to ask Joan what she does to prepare the beehives for the winter. 

In case you want to learn how watch video

How to extract honey from comb

My Friend wrote “I made the papers without dying or getting arrested!”

He got my attention! 

(Anyone who knows Bill McCafferty will get it)

He texted me this photo first and wrote-

“Go ahead. Ask me where I got this!”

Our local paper is Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Hmmmm I had no idea, Bill. 

Then he sends photo #2. 

Check out Third Place

A winner of the caption contest 293. 

Artist of the cartoon-Stacy Inherst 

click Stacy Innerst Website to check out his illustrations

Congratulations Bill. Very exciting. So glad you are alive and not in jail. 

Cherry on Top of a Burnt Almond Torte

Cherry on Top

The fun weekly photo challenge by Michelle W.   I should get in the car and head to a local ice cream shop but it’s really humid and hot and we’ve already been out for dinner.  Wish I knew the Cherry on Top challenge beforehand but then I remembered a Cherry on Top I photographed six years ago.

The following was posted in May 2010.  Since then the Burnt Almond Torte was declared America’s Greatest Cake Here’s the article Thank You, Pittsburgh, For The Greatest Cake America Has Ever Made   (By the way, I never saw a cherry on top of a Prantl’s Burnt Almond Torte)

Burnt Almond TorteAnd here is the original writing from my May 2010 blog post

Burnt Almond Torte and Copycat Recipe

Different regions prefer certain pastries, baked goods.  Burnt Almond Torte is popular in Pittsburgh. I’ve seen it as a wedding cake. tiered!  Who brought the recipe here I don’t know but many Pittsburghers LOVE it.  I’d never tasted one until we moved here.  This one is from the Oakmont Bakery.  Joan brought it to dinner one night.  We split it three ways. Don’t know who ate the cherry.  Not me.  But before we devoured it, I photographed it.  Here is a link to the Recipezaar Copycat Prantl’s Burnt Almond Torte recipe in case you want to have a taste of Pittsburgh Pastry/Dessert.  I hear there’s one where chocolate is involved.

Checking the Copycat Recipe is still valid, YES!!!

The Molasses Swamp is now a Chocolate Swamp post was a slow low day on the blog today.  Bet this Cherry on Top will top it!!


Apples Wait to be Pressed into Cider- October 2009

This is a reblog- originally posted October 2009.

Sand Hill Berry Farm Cider Press- Bushels of Apples- October Sunday-Mt. Pleasant, PA

Red Currants and Red Raspberries their specialty, not to mention the gooseberries to make jam. Raspberry pies, and free raspberry sundaes. We roasted hot dogs over a fire, and marshmallows to make s’mores.  

Autumn color in the Laurel Highlands of Pennsylvania is hard to beat. The barn was filled with the smell of apples.


Original four comments.  Zero likes .    My friend Dorothy passed in 2010.  A Memorial Poetry Reading is being planned for this November 13, 2015.  

Ruth, what a wonderful angle to take your picture to include indoors, outdoors and I can almost smell the apples.


  • Marlene  
    Great picture!
    Great seeing you there in the beautiful countryside with your family. What a picture perfect day!! Those sundaes were really good! Love the photo!!


     How beautiful the colors came out!! Always the photographer