Neville Island Night Lights on the Ohio River

The retirement party at our friend’s home on Neville Island began in early afternoon but the barges and tugs went by into the night. Both directions!

Lots of drama to watch. Multiple freight trains on the opposite bank blew their train whistles.

See the powerful blue light the Captain was shining down river to illuminate a buoy in the middle of the river?  Neville Island Bridge is in the background.

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Centerpieces with tiny white lights and fishing accessories glowed like lanterns.

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Here you can see the dark barges being pushed by the tug as they approach the bridge.IMG_1673.JPG

 

 

IMG_1657.JPGIMG_1639.JPGIMG_1699.JPGIMG_1736IMG_1683The bonfire kept us warm and warded off the increasing damp chill as the sun disappeared. Skipping the photo my friend took of me devouring a gooey s’more.

 

IMG_1687.JPGHappy Retirement, Sy

 

Polish Pottery Holds Warm Blueberry Muffins

My friend J in Florida sent the blue star studded Polish pottery dish for my Fourth of July birthday.

My friend J in Pittsburgh baked blueberry muffins Sunday morning and brought them to my front porch to go with scrambled eggs.

My friend V will wonder what happened to my plan to post a whole week of bridges.

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Truffle Atop Poached Egg and Wild Asparagus Risotto

IMG_5711What an evening of taste bud surprises! WOW.

We took an evening tram to meet my son’s friends at a café.  Because it was the night before the Easter Holiday, every seat was taken. Quite a wait for a table. Everyone celebrating being off the next workday.

Bummer-  BUT  When the friends arrived they had a discussion for an alternate plan.  Wow, did I ever luck out that the café was full.  One went to procure a  bottle of red.

The first delight was I’s Sour Cherry apéritif which he’d made.  At first,  I was worried it might burn but my concerns were totally unfounded.  In fact, the drink defined summer captured in a slim crystal cylinder.  All I can say it the ruby liquid of summer’s sour cherries woke up every taste bud in my mouth.  Delicious.  Not to sweet, not too tart, zero burn. Perfection!

And then the surprise of M’s creation- Poached egg on fresh bread with the fruitiest most fragrant olive oil drizzle AND the unexpected luxurious truffle on top of the gently poached farm egg.  Or “home eggs” as my family refers to them.

I was feeling quite content with all I had eaten. Italian cheese and olives to start and then the Sour Cherry apéritif and the lovely truffle surprise.   And then the Wild Asparagus Risotto was ready to eat.  Freshly Grated Cheese on top. Oh my.  So bold.  It was wild! A flavor I’dd never before experienced,  created by a culinary expert.

I was happy to meet my son’s friends and be invited into a Zagreb home to experience  these tastes and more importantly their friendship and hospitality.

Sretan Uskrs and Hvala for a wonderful evening in Zagreb.

IMG_5711 iPhone photos don’t do justice to this dish.

 

 

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The wild asparagus simmers

 

 

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Words are inadequate to describe this bold Wild Asparagus Risotto. WOW!

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Remembering Nora

Nora Nucera Bell

A wife, mother, grandmother, sister, daughter.

Well loved.

A teacher, a neighbor, a knitter.

A reader.

A colleague.  A friend.

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I took this photo of Nora in my living room  at the Greenfield Holiday Party years ago.

Her radiant smile spoke of her generous heart, her loving spirit, her sense of humor, her easy laughter. She loved her family with her all.

Nora was a loyal blog follower since the beginning of the blog 7 years ago and wrote emails in response to photos she especially liked.

Alaska. Baked Orechiette. The family.

She always had a positive word and expressed gratitude for so much.

This morning. fellow Greenfielders and all those who loved her, gathered together to celebrate her life at a lovely Mass of Christian Burial.

She will be missed.

We will remember.

Full of Grace

Graceful.   The Weekly Photo Challenge

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If you’ve followed me you might recognize this image from a 2011 blog post of almost six years ago. Mother Mary- Springtime NYC

Mother Mary- Springtime NYC

 

Someone placed a bouquet in the crook of her arm.   Today’s post remembers friend and poet Christina Murdock who passed one year ago today, a week short of her thirtieth birthday.

from Let it Be by John Lennon and Paul McCartney

When I find myself in times of trouble
Mother Mary comes to me
Speaking words of wisdom, let it be.
And in my hour of darkness
She is standing right in front of me
Speaking words of wisdom, let it be.
Let it be, let it be.
Whisper words of wisdom, let it be.

 

Delicious Dinner With Friends and a Crazy Surprise Ending

*Plan for the New Year 2017– contact friends you haven’t seen in awhile and make time to get together

I met two friends/former colleagues from Greenfield School Tuesday evening.

The first photo is my view as I waited for them to park after battling rush hour.

Forrest was our attentive and knowledgeable waiter who guided us in our selections.img_2867

Piccolo Forno in Lawrenceville

The appetizers and the BYOB bottle of dry red wine that Lara and Joz brought to share

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Cappuccino Gelato     Panna Cotta    and a wild brownie with Cayenne Pepper in it- zing!

 

img_2882Thanks Joz for taking our photo with the nice young man Jeffrey who brought out the Greenfield Shirt I’d left on my chair in the restaurant.

Turns out the he was our former student at Greenfield School in 1997
(cool that he could still recognize us)

I taught him art and Ms Evans was his third grade teacher.

Multiple Factors Affect the Size of Your Knitting

Multiple factors affect the size of your knitting.

*Knitting needle size and type of needle (wood or metal).

*The thickness and weight and number ply of the yarn you use from a lace weight to super bulky.  Best to stick to pattern guidelines and suggestions or be prepared to do some tricky math calculations. And pray.

*Your inner tension- yes- there are loose knitters and tight knitters and those in between.  Some people go UP a needle size or two and some knitters go DOWN a needle size or two to get the correct gauge.  You knit the way you knit and it isn’t easy to alter the tension.  Everyone is different. You get to know pretty soon where you fall on the gauge continuum.

*Checking gauge is crucial for successful outcomes. Once I knit a sweater for a high school bf and the woman at the yarn store ripped out the ENTIRE SWEATER in front of my eyes.   I am not kidding.

*At the beginning of a pattern you can see the requirements for yarn type, needle size and the gauge is – how many stitches per inch, how many rows per inch.

Here’s a quote from Craftsy site  (and you can click it for more info about knitting gauge adjustment)

Gauge is the number that determines how big or small your knitted project will turn out, so learning how to make adjustments to your gauge is necessary if you want to avoid ripping out your project and starting all over again.

Today after the sad task of attending a funeral together, two friends and I went to lunch on Carson Street on the South Side.

Deb brought her knitted Christmas stockings.

The smaller one was knit 32 years ago for her daughter and Deb added the little knitted skirt to the original pattern. The second one was knit this Christmas for her daughter’s new husband.  A different needle size. Ooops!

Plus, Deb noticed that the first stocking she knit was going a different direction than the one she made for her daughter’s husband. Double Ooops!

I asked if I could photograph the stockings and she agreed- as long as I didn’t put her in the pic.

Deb used a different needle size for sure. She’s already started another one.

And now she has to make the pattern in reverse so the stocking will hang the same direction.    Thanks Deb for allowing me to photograph the stockings you knit as an illustration for gauge today.  Nicely knit!

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The Return of the Quilted Mug Rug

Five years ago I received unexpected mail from quilter Colleen. Today I found it in my cloth napkin basket and pulled it out to set my hot lemonade and honey mug on top. Feeling festive! Added a couple of Nurnberger Lebkuchen. A hot drink helps when the temperature drops to single digits.

Thanks Colleen.

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