Chirped by Cass & Tina
Well, March did not disappoint – coming in like a lion and heading out like a lamb. The month was filled with crazy roller-coaster weather changes, from snowstorms to 70 degree sunny days. We had a number of activities keeping us on our toes, like the boys coming home for spring break, a new craft venture underway, some major blog reconstruction (hopefully mostly behind the scenes?), a trip to England and a new puppy! Whew… Never a dull moment!
Let’s get the cuteness of the month posted first. Please welcome to the family our new Australian shepherd, 8 weeks old. Besides the potty training, crate training, sharp baby teeth chewing everything, bizarre napping positions and our older Australian shepherd trying to adjust to him… this little guy is full of cuteness, furry softness, puppy breath and puppy snuggles. And who can not love that furry little butt? All three of our collective four-legged flock have been enjoying the sun’s periodic visits as the warmer weather tiptoes into Pennsylvania…
From cuteness to goodness, Tina made these delicious smoked salmon potato bites as appetizers for an Alaskan-themed book club meeting. Even folks who didn’t think they liked salmon were loving these! The smoked fish gives them almost a bacon flavor, and the sour cream dollop on top contrasts nicely with the crispy saltiness. The secret to the potato cups? Two thawed Tater Tots, smushed into mini-muffin cups and baked to a golden perfection! Tina added a little fresh ground pepper and some chives left over from a less successful appetizer recipe to top them off.
Tina’s* Favorite Book of the Month/Year/Possibly Ever!
This month’s recommendation must go to A Gentlemen in Moscow, by Amor Towles. We’ve read a lot of great books over the years, but the exquisite writing in this novel stands head and shoulders above the rest for its clever wit, charm and sheer delightfulness! Set in Moscow during and after the Russian Revolution, it recounts the hotel-bound adventures and alliances of Count Alexander Rostov. Spared the firing squad but condemned to house arrest in a luxury hotel for the rest of his life, Count Rostov discovers a wider, richer, more purposeful existence that belies his physically compressed world. I’m happy to report that the unabridged audio book, read by Nicholas Guy Smith, is equally enchanting. I would highly recommend it if you have a long road trip or mindless task ahead of you and find yourself in need of diversion! (And did you know you can download free audio books, for limited periods of time, from your local library? Might be worth checking to see if it’s available, or get on the waiting list!)
*Cass hasn’t read this book yet, so I’ll take full responsibility for the “rave-ness” of my review should you disagree with me about how awesome this book is! – Tina
One Last(?) Winter Storm
Mother Nature surprised us with one more snowstorm this month….hopefully the last one of the winter! Despite the dangerous driving conditions and extra shoveling (the snowblower wouldn’t start), the March snow did leave us with some photo-worthy moments to enjoy – from ice-laced branches during the storm to a heart-shaped melt pattern a few days later…
Signs of Spring
Even though we enjoy our winter months, we are happy to have spring knocking on the door with little peeks of color and bloom beginning to brighten our flower beds. It’s always exciting to see the first crocuses and daffodils poking up out of the ground!
Yarn Bloom Wins State Award!
Speaking of blooms, the Perkasie Yarn Bloom we had so much fun working on last spring just received an Excellence in Recreation and Parks Award from the Pennsylvania Recreation and Parks Society (PRPS)! To see more pictures of the Bloom and details about how our group helped transform Menlo Park, check out our posts: Bloom Bounty and Yarn Blooming!
Tina’s family enjoyed their spring break in jolly old England, specifically London and Stratford Upon Avon. She’s still sorting through all her notes and photographs, but will be chirping soon about the historical highlights, touristy trappings, Shakespearean showmanship, and delectable dining that made their one week trip so terrific!
Crowns, Crowns and More Crowns
From the anointed heads of English royalty to Crowns for Kids… Two craft groups we’re involved with have been busy crocheting crown ear warmers to cheer up kids at Shriner’s Hospitals for Children in Philadelphia. This month we donated over 100 colorful crowns, and Shriners said to keep ’em coming! This project is the brainchild of one of our own Hilltown Haberdashers, who spent a significant portion of her own childhood at Shriner’s. A fellow member of the second group, Perkasie Stitch and Bitch, has a son who is a current outpatient. This is a great crafty way for us to give back to an institution that has taken such good care of two of our own. As an added bonus, the crowns aren’t even that hard to make – the pros in the group can crank one out in less than 90 minutes! Our thanks to Erangi Udeshika for giving us permission to use her fun and easy crown pattern for this project!
Wondering what’s been happening in Tina’s craft room? Spring cleaning – that’s what! We are pleased to report that several boxes and bags of unwanted items have been donated to a local non-profit thrift store. A lot of paper went out for recycling. Wastebaskets have been filled – and emptied. Tabletops are reappearing and categorized boxes have been established for sorting purposes. Baby steps, but progress! More posts and pictures to come!
Cass is finishing up a family room makeover for a decorating job this spring. Beyond wanting to change out furnishings, the clients were also tired of their old brick fireplace. After considering several options, (painting the brick, tiling over the whole thing, covering it with wood moldings), Cass came up with a intriguing plan. They would cover the brick with mill-work, install a brand new mantel, and add some decorative tile to completely transform its appearance. They painted the mill-work a dark blue that tied in with the colors of an updated fabric sectional and patterned chair. Now it’s the perfect focal point for their crisp, cool, comfortable new look!
Happy Spring, everyone! Get out and enjoy the sunshine! And for those of you up north where the season hasn’t quite taken hold, hang in there… the snow can’t last forever! (Can it??) c(-;
Blog Renovations – Please Pardon Our Dust!
Tina and I switched our blog’s web-hosting to Siteground this month. After a few technical hiccups, we seem to be back in the game with some new plug-in features and more room, going forward, to improve the look and functionality of our website and blog posts. We’re still working through the learning curve, so please bear with us! Hopefully we will also be branching out soon into more social media platforms, to improve our blog’s visibility and increase the ways we can interact with our readers. Stay tuned!
Check this out Tina.
Love it! And it’s true – it made me interested in visiting the hotel and Moscow, too, though maybe not in these turbulent times…