Friday, May 28, 2010

Happy Memorial Day!

The cats are not allowed on the table. So technically, Baby is not on the table-Right?
This is the bad boy-Paco-that I helped shear the other day. As you can tell, he is not a happy camper at all!

The front garden is blooming rather well. This year is so different from last year. There are so many more bachelor buttons and daisies. There are poppies, but not as many as last year. Also they are seeding in other parts of the yard, which is great with me. I had to look up on last year's posts to see when the monarda blooms. I have tons of sunflowers coming up, and I can't wait until they bloom. The weeds are doing well, also, but I keep at it.

This was an iris that I transplanted from the jungle hillside on the west side of the property early this Spring. I was so surprised that it bloomed this year. They are really low to the ground.

The yellow water iris is still blooming. The green fronds are over 6 feet tall.
I spent the day yesterday working on organizing and cleaning the kitchen. I bought a used hutch at my junk store. My friend CF helped me move it into the house. It actually adds a great deal of storage. The old antique cabinet I was using did not have this much storage, so I put it into the utility room next to the washing machine. It was adequate for those needs, and I was able to take out the rubbermaid type shelf that was really too big for the space.
Today I finished cleaning up the kitchen, sweeping and washing the floor, washing blankets and hanging them on the clothesline, and shaking out rugs.
I stupidly estimated that I only had about 15 squares to go on the mitered afghan when I started my granny afghan. I have been trying to get 2-3 squares a night, and it didn't seem to be growing a lot. Last night I counted, and I estimate that I still have around 18 squares to go. This is another reason why I get so tired of it. It never seems to end. It just never shows much progress. The granny square is growing rapidly and I can really see how fast it is going.
I am getting itchy about not having a sock going. Oh-yes, I do have the fair-isle sock. I could be working on that. Yes, I could. But am I? No, I am crocheting like a fool.
I did get some more spinning done yesterday. I think CJE is coming over on Sunday, and we will work on a lot of stuff then. I just cannot see a lot of progress on anything right now.
I finished dyeing yarn from the Padauk sawdust. I stupidly left it out on the deck in the dyepot overnight. So there is a dark spot where the dye settled on the yarn. Well, I guess it could be called intentional. But I don't know if I like it. I have to let it dry completely to make a decision.
I hope you have a good holiday this weekend. For me it is just another day. I have no plans to do anything but keep on doing what I do all the time. I hope to finish some project soon. I would feel better if I could see some progress. Just when I get a little rest, it is time to start all over again. The yard still has to be mowed and weedeated, and the weeds keep on growing.
Patty is settling in, but Noodles has attacked her twice. She is terrified of the cats. She is getting a little bit braver about going out through the yard away from me. I think I need to trim around her mouth a little bit. I noticed that when they trimmed her face at the groomer, they just cut her whiskers off. She rubs her face on her pillow or on the rug. Do dogs need whiskers like cats do? She is definitely a scent hound, and her face plows through the dewy grass in the mornings and late evening. When she lifts her head, water just drips off her snout.
Have a safe and fun weekend. Enjoy the day off, and time with family and friends.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Meet Miss Patty

This is Patty after she had her first haircut at the beauty shop. She is watching the cows across the road. This was after 1 week at the house. Now she doesn't care about cows, but she ran after a squirrel on Sunday.
This is Patty helping me sew. She is laying on the suede that I put there to get it out of a box. Now I guess I have to put it back up so it doesn't get ruined.
This was the first day I got her. She is watching Animal Planet. Remember this was the first time ever she had seen a t.v. Now it is nothing to her, but it was so intriquing at first.

This was just after we came home. I hadn't even taken the harness off of her. And it was before she had her haircut. Because she doesn't have teeth, her tongue hangs out the side of her mouth. And usually she has the one ear up and one ear down.
But on to other things. I am having a terrible time with a HUGE FAT raccoon eating my bird seed and suet. It comes out during the late afternoon. At first I was waiting until the birds ate their last meal before going to bed, and I would put the stuff away. Then about 4 p.m. I noticed a huge thing sitting there eating away. And now it comes early to empty the pot out. It also unscrews the hummingbird feeder and drinks the syrup. I know this because one morning after I had put away the bird feeder stuff I saw the hummingbird feeder hanging minus the bottom. I thought it was broken and I would have to replace it. But when I searched around, I found the bottom and it was not broken at all! This meant it had to be unscrewed.
I finally got the front porch painted. I need to put a coat of stuff on the flooring to touch up where it has worn. It looks so much better-all clean and white. I bought that Behr paint that is primer and paint in one. It was so much easier to use. The only thing-it does not clean up with water. Not good. It is good that paint brushes are fairly cheap. I am a messy painter, and it was not a pretty site where I dripped. I am still debating about putting a blue on the ceiling of the porch. I used to live in a Victorian house and it was traditional to paint the ceiling of the porch with blue. I think a light grey blue would be pretty on mine, but I am thinking about it.
I found a lightweight battery operated weed eater at a garage sale for $30 on Saturday. Boy! It is my savior. I have the hardest time starting the heavy duty thing, and it is hard to hold it for long with all the vibration. And you have to mix the gas and oil and it is stinky and yucky. I can't do heavy duty weed eating, but I can certainly do the trim around the edges and in some places that I don't do often because of the heavy duty thing. Now I can do it every week. Yeah!
I love it. I am finding as I get older I am looking for simpler things like battery operated weed eaters.
Yesterday was my birthday. I decided that I was not going to work any at all. I need to mow, but I was not going to do that on my birthday. I did go to WalMart-yuck-and get some things I needed. I took myself out to a restaurant and had lunch. I spent time with the cats and Patty and sat in the yard some. I knit a little bit. My neighbor came over late in the afternoon to show me some quilt tops she had from her grandmother. She also brought me a piece of cake, and she didn't even know it was my birthday.
Sunday was our sock club meeting. So I got up early and made cinnamon rolls. There were just six or seven of us, and we ate well. Two folks were working on their Christmas stocking and two were working on their fair isle sock KAL. I was crocheting on the granny square addiction afghan, and another lady was knitting on a sock.
I have not been doing much in the fiber world in the past week. I am trying to finish the final squares on the mitered blanket. And I started the Giant Granny Square blanket using some of the sock yarns that I gathered for the mitered blanket. I have been doing a little bit of spinning. I have a dye that needs to happen, but I keep putting it off.
Today I am going down the road to Dr. B's house to help shear her llamas. She called me last night and said she had done two of them, but if I wanted to help she wouldn't turn me down. So in a coupla minutes I am heading out the door. They aren't used to being handled that much, and they are a handful. She did get spit on yesterday. She does have one that I think would make a great guard llama. He will get right up close and personal with that look in his eye. The others just stay away. I hope to get pics. She wants my opinion about the wool, too.
So I won't be posting too much in the next week. I am now using my laptop because the last storm did something to my p.c. I cannot get internet on it, and all my files are on that. My brother sent me an email with a sourch for a software and cable that will transfer my files from p.c. to laptop, and I am waiting for that to arrive. I am busy with the yard too, and it is the time of year I am not in the house sitting around knitting and/or spinning.
If anything interesting happens this week, I will post. Otherwise just know that I am out doing chores. Nothing interesting there.

Monday, May 17, 2010

New Family Member

I have adopted a new family member. Her name is Patty (actually Peppermint Patty), but Miss Patty by some folks. She is a miniature Schnauzer. She is 5 years old, and is a rescue from a puppy mill. I don't know a lot of her history, but I don't want to know it all. I do know that she has rather large mammaries, and some big nipples. She had such horrible dental issues that the vet ended up pulling her teeth. Her tongue hangs out the side because of this.

Miss Patty has been with our family for one week today. She is compared to a special needs child. She is learning to integrate into the family pretty quickly. Today I took her to the groomer to get pretty. She has a nice short summer cut now. I had them cut off her "beard" because it was really long, smelly due to drooling and tongue hanging out, and she was scratching it a lot. So they very carefully snipped off that mess with scissors.

I did a lot of house stuff before Miss Patty came to live with us. I have cleaned out my closet and drawers completely. I do not have a lot of clothes now. But that is okay with me. I find I don't need a lot of clothes. I rearranged my bedroom furniture, and I cleaned the carpeting. It was awful.

After that and after Miss Patty came to live with us, I found that I was tired and would just sit and watch mindless t.v. I also was depressed with all the rain. I did not knit a thing for several days. I did not finish the projects I gave myself goals to complete.

Last Wednesday I took Miss Patty with me to Oklahoma to Lake Tenkiller. I have a friend there that has a cabin that she visits a few times a year. So we spent the day with her and her two dogs and sitting by the lake all afternoon.

So Friday I got high behind to set some more goals in the fiber world around me. I decided I wanted to make the giant granny square afghan. Two other people in our Knit Nite have made them, and TR is making another one. I decided I have enough yarn from the Lifetime Blanket to start one. It has grown to small kitty size already. Baby can lay across it diagonally. It is truly addictive. It grows rapidly and easily. I can see progress already. Yeah!

I also decided that I will finish the latest section on the Lifetime Blanket and call it done. If I decide to add onto it in the future, I will at that time. So soon I will be finished with that. Yeah!

Sigh! I laid out my sewing yesterday. Then I got distracted and decided I would just crochet on the granny square instead.

Today I got a lot of my yard mowed while Patty was at the groomer. I just finished that chore. It has really grown with all the rain.

This rain has been super weird. It is not unusual to get a stormy start to May, but usually by this time it begins to taper off. The tornadoes have been around us, but nothing here so far. I did lose my Internet service for three days due to a lightening strike. I finally got that back on Saturday. It turns out that the lightening strike that I thought was on top of us was actually in my neighbor's tree in the front yard. Bark flew everywhere as the lightening went down the tree into the ground. Poor tree!

So Happy Monday! I hope this week will be productive for you. We actually have two days without rain scheduled this week! Yeah! Time to get the yard work completed and ready for the next time around.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Early May! It's Glorious!

Despite the gardener's best intentions, Nature will improvise. ~Michael P. Garafalo This is a field of blackberries on the property behind my house. It appears blackberries are going to be really plentiful this year. I don't know what the cycle is, but maybe it is the snow and stuff we had this winter.
My yellow iris are settled now. This is the second full summer for them. I love the yellow of this iris. They are a water iris that can be put in water features in your yard. They have very long blades that will stick way up out of the water. I don't have water in my yard, so I have very tall, very pretty yellow iris in odd places. I put them in three places to see how they would do. They all survived well.

These are spiderwort. They have survived well also. The mound is quite large and is spreading slowly each year. I hate that it disappears as soon as the blades give the energy to the bulbs. But they come out again at the end of the season. I guess to get just more energy to get through the winter.

I know the purple is blurry, but this is really the best replica of the color. Isn't that a pretty purple? I guess a magenta. I had some pretty pink blooms, but this one is such a deep color.
So on to knitting.
I had a bad spell over the weekend. I guess it goes with the weather and cloudiness we had. It started on Friday when I got my tax statement for the year. Yikes! How do people really manage to live? I pouted and whined and felt like I was really put upon by all this. Very egocentric behaviour. Then after I got over my mad, I got sad. I didn't want to eat-nothing sounded good to me. I didn't want to knit. I didn't want to watch t.v. So I finally settled down on my book and finished that.
So after my silly behaviour over the weekend, I woke up yesterday and marveled at how pretty everything is this time of year. The greens are so luscious. My hostas are overpowering. They are beyond HUGE! The azaleas did well this year. Everything has new growth sprouting.
My friend CF called me on Sunday to tell me about the Baltimore Orioles she is attracting with oranges. She said the woodpeckers are eating them too. So yesterday I got some oranges at the store on my weekly grocery shopping trip. I looked this morning. Nothing but ants. Not a single pecked hole. This has happened to me every time I try to attract the Orioles. Nothing but ants.
I did buy a new hummingbird feeder, and that seems to be working. I noticed hummers out this a.m., and this is the third feeding this season. I have had to throw out the two previous feedings because they were cloudy. So maybe this third one is the magic one with the new feeder.
I did do a little spinning on Sunday listening to podcasts. I am spinning the teeswater/cotswold blend. It does have a few guard hairs show up, but I don't think it so awful. It has just a different feel to it. I think it is very pretty. It is a black, brown, white natural blend.
I did do a little project Sunday evening while trying to find something to watch on t.v. It is getting too close to summer now. The shows are beginning to show repeats already. Anyway, I did knit a little sweater tree ornament. It was out of scrap sock yarn in my scrap box. It was pretty simple. A little top down raglan sweater.

And I finished the two sleeves for the Jacob sweater. I haven't blocked them yet. I haven't cast on the body yet. They don't look exactly the same-as most sleeves don't anyway. I never get myself torn up about it when I have sew in sleeves. The main thing is they are the same length.

According to the pattern, they are supposed to be k1p1 rib, but I thought this was way too boring and too snug for my arms. So I did them in the lace pattern that is the yoke. I think it will be prettier anyway. I guess I better spin some more yarn, but I do have one more skein finished. With the leftover ball, this will get me pretty well finished on the front or back of the sweater. They are the same. I thought of knitting in the round, but then I thought the decreases for the waist might not look right. I think it is easier to hide decreases in a seam.
One more gardening note. I have a terrible time keeping catnip established. Last year I planted some seeds, was ecstatic that they hatched, and then Noodles ate everything down to nubs. I had a HUGE bed of catnip at my first house. So he and Baby would sit there every day and eat themselves silly. I guess it helps with digestion. It is a digestive aid for humans. Try a cup of catnip tea the next time your tummy feels icky. Anyway while at the store yesterday, I noticed some catnip plants in their little greenhouse set up outside. I bought three pretty nice looking plants, thinking this would do the trick.
I left them on the freezer while I was outside doing something else. I came in and Noodles was up there chewing away. I sighed and shooed him away. I apologized to the poor little plants and went about my business. I came back in and Baby was up on the freezer chewing away. I don't think these plants will last long. I was trying to think of a place to hide them until they get established. But I cannot think of any place that the cats won't find them. I may go back to the store and buy up all they have. Then I can plant them all over the yard. Maybe one will survive and multiply. I just need to get it through one complete season, and then we will have the same thing I had before-a bed full of catnip. It's just getting through the first season that's hard.
Anyway, I did try to knit a little bit last night, but gave up and read for a coupla hours. My arthritis in my hand hurts from my weedeating the other day. My arm was tired from holding the machine, but my hand hurts. It is that time of the year when I don't do a lot of knitting anyway.
I guess it is time to go out and tackle more weeds. I am almost to the point of being overwhelmed by weeds. I try to get at it, but then they are very sneaky and prolific. Chickweed was really bad this Spring.
Have a good week. Weed, weed, weed, knit, knit, knit, spin, spin, spin. You know the drill. Life is repetitious.