Wednesday, July 3, 2019

yarn-along with Ginnie, July 2019

I usually miss it, but not this time!  Ginnie Sheller's yarn-along is one of the ways I've discovered new knitting blogs to read in recent years.

The two books I'm primarily reading these days are:
The Ministry of Ordinary Places, by Shannan Martin - which is lovely prose about hard things like connecting to people where they are, ministering to people in the everyday.  I am enjoying the read, and it's hitting me where I'm at this year.  (It's no longer on pre-order, my sister got it for me in December.) 

~The River, by Peter Heller.  I have been enjoying Anne Bogel's podcast, What Should I Read Next?  When I heard her describing this book, I thought it sounded like the perfect summer read for my husband.  He enjoyed it a lot, and I had also thought of reading it, so when he was done he handed it off to me.  The "voice" took me a few pages to get into, but now I'm really enjoying it.

As for the knitting, I'm calling it my Reclamation Blanket, pictured above.  It's made up of dozens of color samples from the local yarn store where I taught until its demise, paired with black sock yarn (it's all fingering weight.)  It's a modular knit of mitered squares, there are a LOT of ends to weave in!  When I get a little more width on it, I'll post more about it. 

What are you reading or making this summer?  Check in to Ginnie's Yarn Along for more inspiration!

Monday, July 1, 2019

June irises

A year or two ago, I joined a local photography group.  I was really hoping to make friends, and have a group to learn with, as I've had with my knitting group.  Photography is not quite the social setting, though.  What I have gotten out of it is a never-ending list of local places for photo-ops!  

Recently, one of the members shared a local iris farm, and several members spent a morning taking pictures there.  Unfortunately, the excessive rain we've had this spring meant that the irises were not in full bloom as expected, but it was still an interesting find.  The owners live on sight and also have a beautiful little spot of "red" poppies.  Here are a few of my favorite shots from the day...  

Maybe you can spot one of the challenges of this type of group?  

And lastly, a shot from their vehicle graveyard, in case flowers aren't your thing:

It's always nice to find new places in one's neck of the woods.  What about you, what have you discovered, lately? 

Sunday, May 12, 2019

Happy Mother's Day

I'm blessed to be surrounded by many wonderful women, mothers, including my own, my grandmothers, aunts and mother-in-law, sisters, and friends!

Monday, March 25, 2019

garden planning journal, 2019

January is the best time to buy seeds because they're on sale and nothing's sold out. However, I'm usually recovering from holidays, especially now that school holidays drag on a week into the next year.

February is spent recovering from January.

March, on the other hand, brings promise of green things, like the first day of Spring!  It's the perfect time to get things going in the garden, if I haven't already.  A few weeks ago, my friend Patty off-handedly mentioned planting potatoes and sweet peas on St. Patrick's Day.  This year, I'm trying sweet peas after seeing the love for them on Floret.

My youngest kid helped me started indoor seeds for four kinds of peppers, lavender plants, and cucumbers, pictured.  (I don't know what made me think I should start cucumbers inside.)  After finding the Grow as I Grow video series by Gary Pilarchik, it seems practically fail proof - ha ha - to start seeds indoors!  Here's what I've accomplished in the past three weeks. 

-- After scouring the internet and every local option, I purchased a 4-bulb florescent grow light, used, with new T5 bulbs.  The local nurseries did not have their supplies yet.  Apparently the hardware stores are half-heartedly committed to switching to LEDs in the fixture department, not in the bulb aisle.  I ended up getting mine from a what is essentially a shop for people growing pot, but it was my last resort, and apparently the ones on top of the industry.  They also had some holes in their inventory but spied this used "floor model" on a shelf and offered to clean it up and replace the bulbs.  I asked the pot guys about LEDs, and they said the general consensus is that the difference in heat and energy use is not significant enough for the huge increase in price.  I also got a timer so I don't have to recalculate every day that I forget to turn them on early.  All in, I spent about $120. 

-- A few weeks earlier, I ordered seeds from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds, also known as Rare Seeds.  I ordered all my peppers, which Gary says you can start super early - 12 weeks out, and lavender, same; specifically, hot peppers Anaheim and Brazilian Starfish, and sweet peppers Jimmy Nardello and Marconi, both red Italian peppers.  The lavender is basic herb variety, and the cucumbers are Munchers that are left from last year.

-- I also happened to visit a local nursery just as someone from Botanical Interests was starting a presentation on seed-starting, so hopefully I picked up a little knowledge from that. More interesting was hearing about the illustrations and how they are updated from time to time, and what happens to original prints.

-- On the sporadic sunny days, I've done some pruning, and evaluating.

-- Today, I am testing the pH in my garden beds because we had some issues last year, although they appear to be identical and I'm wondering if the testing device is actually working.

-- Also today, I am starting some sweet peas indoors like they do at Floret, and also starting them outside as Patty suggested.  I'm also planting edible snap peas.

-- This week, I am planning to do some paint touch-up and minor repairs on the shed before anything's growing in front of the walls.

Well back to my pH experiment.  Are you getting ready for spring gardening?  What's getting planted?  

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

before February ends

the latest chapter in a long love story.

Saturday, February 9, 2019

Wednesday, February 6, 2019


We don't often have fog; by the time I had kids to school and time to stop for pictures, it was half gone.  Like all things in life, we have to appreciate what is here and now, and plan well for the next time.  (read: keep the camera batteries charged!)

I am working on a new mitten pattern for Windy Valley.  It's simple and to the point, with a fairly simple cable design, and I love it.  More on that when there are photos.  

Stay warm!