Thursday, June 21, 2012

A Little Relief!

It is raining!  Our first real rain in two months!  It is a slow, female rain.  A little bit of wind occurred in the beginning of the event, and the trees shook with mirth in their treetops.  I heard a little rumble from the thunder beings earlier, but at a great distance.  The frogs are singing!  It is cooler than it has been-71 degrees.  I know what the weatherman said about 100 degrees by the weekend, but right now I want to send out gratitude to the universe for this relief!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Almost Solstice Time!

Well, I am doing the dreaded and awful job of cutting down the bachelor button stalks and spreading the seeds.  I hate to disturb the plants, because in the mornings the doves are usually roosting in there at night.  But watching the fires out west reminds me to cut down the stalks.  I don't need that much dead and dry material near the house.

The neighbor that owns the wooded lot behind my house is trying to do some husbandry things too.  I hate it.  I have piled up limbs and dead flower material for three years now.  I like the habitat I created for the little critters.  You know the ones most people hate are the mice and rats. But they are food for some bigger predators and it balances out.

Yesterday he took a huge tractor and cleared out behind my neighbors on the east side.  He has a nice fire barrier up to their fence line.  Luckily he broke a belt of some kind, and he hasn't made it down to my side yet.  I know it is a fire hazard and I should be thankful that he cares, but I have worked hard to create some kind of natural habitat.  Oh-and the birds love the underbrush too. Sigh! 

I have also been very busy cleaning up my studio space.  That was MAJOR!  I have a tendency to just pile up stuff and let things go for a while.  My friend CF gave me some really nice heavy-duty shelves and they have been sitting out on the deck.  So I started cleaning on Saturday.  I found the nest of all nests of brown recluse spiders that creeped me out.  I sucked up a bunch in the vacuum, and squashed quite a few.  It is the same feeling you get once you find a tick on you.  You think you are covered in them and every little itch is a tick.  Well, I finally had to leave the room and wait until Sunday to finish.

Sunday I moved the furniture, vacuumed really, really well, put up shelves and rearranged the fleeces.  I mean it was WORK!  I was really sweating.  Luckily toward the end of everything, CJE arrived with a chocolate milkshake!  We both went into sugar comas, but I rallied enough to clean the carpeting.  Then I showered and we played a little while.  She succumbed to the sugar coma and took a long, long nap.  While she was asleep, I cleaned the carpet cleaner out, took Patty for a walk, and finally settled into my spinning with a audio book.  She woke up feeling more human, and left shortly afterward.

I finally gave up and started a pair of socks.  I was sitting on the chaise lounge and just looked at the sock yarn bowl.  There was the prettiest yarn I don't remember ever having.  I picked it up and looked at it.  I put it back and said someday.  Well, Sunday night I cast on a pair of socks with it.  This is the first pair of socks I have knit this year.  I don't count those UFO giraffe socks, since that was just a finishing of something I had already started.  I am doing a twisted rib and it looks really pretty.  Sigh! 

I am spinning some baby camel/merino now, and it is really yummy!  I love it.

I think I will go back to mowing my bachelor buttons.  I want to get that done before it gets too hot.

Talk to you after Solstice.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

I Can't Remember When I Last Blogged!

I haven't blogged in oh, so long, that I can't remember when I last blogged.  Oh, well!  As I move through day by day, I will say that my days are the same ole thing.  There isn't a new blessed thing going on. 

I did finish this really lovely BFL skein of yarn last week.  I think one roving was called Autumn Splendor with reds, green, orange, and yellow in it.  I paired it with a semi-solid roving of just reds.  It was really pretty.  I took it for show and tell at the knit group, and JF pulled out money immediately to buy it.  She wants the other skein that was to be spun from the rest of the roving.  So this weekend I am listening to books on tape and spinning.  She is such a good knitter that it humbles me that she likes my handspun so well.  She showed me the pattern for the shawl she is going to make.  I hope I get to see it.

Patty and I did take the day off yesterday to go over to see CJE and play with fiber.  She is spinning for a shawl and I am knitting a shawl.  She has her own technique of "I have this bit of handspun that I think will make up nice" and she casts on without knowing if she has enough.  And sure enough, she has to stop and spin some more, still  not knowing if she has enough.  Somehow it always works out.  On her poncho she actually had to pull out some different color to spin and fiddle around with the pattern to make the colors right. And it worked.

I am so OCD that I have to spin up everything and then do all these math equations to make sure I have enough before I will even attempt to cast on.  And sometimes it doesn't work out and I unknit everything.  I wish I were more carefree with that.

Sadly the little bit of rain we got last wasn't enough to keep everything happy.  I am watering again.  My bachelor buttons are almost ready for me to mow down and scatter the seed.  There are enough flowers left that I cannot destroy the bees' happiness.

My althea (some call it rose o'sharon) started out puny and didn't have many blooms.  But when the cool snap and rain came, it popped out all over with blooms.  And my bumblebees are ecstatic.  Unfortunately, the flowers are dropping really fast.

I thought my comfrey died out in the drought last year, but this year three little spindly batches came up.  So I am watering them regularly, trying to get them to hang on a little longer.  Normally they are one of the tough plants.

And, guess what?  The grasshoppers are back!  Patty will have her extra protein, and they will begin eating everything.  They are so awful.  I think I am going to make a batch of tansy dye before they eat it down to nubs like they did last year.

My sunflowers are really short this year, and the heads aren't that large.  What seed I get goes to the finches.  I love to sit at the window and watch them chirpling and flitting around and eating seeds.

So back to the spinning wheel.  I am going to get this done this week so I can give it to her Thursday at knit group.  Then maybe I can finally get my loom warped!  I have been working on that too long.

And I need to send my quilt top off to the quilter this week. 

See-things are just putzing along around here.  The days are the same, but the season is different every time.