Monday, March 30, 2009

End of March

It snowed again this morning and I hear we may have more this week.
The kids are away today, so I slept in a bit, and watched a movie, Miss Potter. What a lovely idea to retire to the country and draw, and raise sheep. Instead, here's what I'm working on:

I see these chickens here and there, now and then, and I always think, "I could do that." And I finally did. They are so easy to whip together. If you can't figure it out and you want to make them, I'll post a tutorial. Next, amongst my other projects, I am working on a little doll for a little friend. I only have her face done, but I am sure she'll go together quickly. I think her face turned out pretty well considering I don't have much experience with embroidery. I saw her first on another blog but you can find more information on making one of your own here.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Snow Day

Two snow days in a row, and then the weekend! Sometimes we hear about cities closing schools for a couple of inches of snow. In Colorado, we're prepared for that, so we don't often have snow days, let alone two in a row! Yesterday, we all stayed inside while the wind and snow were blowing. Today, the sun is out and it's time to shovel before you get stuck with icy walks and driveways. We live on a nice street of neighbors; we have several young bucks like BFJ, and several elderly couples; the young guys all get out and shovel the walks so the old folks don't have to. Zoom also helped shovel for some of the older people. At one point, everyone in our family was outside in snow gear but the little people don't keep their mittens on so well. My favorite snow activities include napping, reading, eating, sewing, watching a movie, any of these in front of a fire. But my sister went and bought me some snow pants last year, and now I have no excuse to stay inside while everyone else is out playing. So... Zoom and I built a snowcave! Unfortunately, we didn't get a lot of the inside dug out too far, so it's just enough room for one person. I was the only one digging out, and the biggest, and I didn't want to get stuck. Plus, everyone else went inside. (I know, my family are all gasping to think that I was the last person still outside.) I don't know if the cave will still be intact when next we venture out, but at least we got some pictures!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Spring in Colorado

Here we are, getting ready for Spring:

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Define "Weed"

viola labradorica

Isn't this a lovely plant? At least, it makes for a nice picture. Unfortunately, it falls into my definition of a weed. I have spent many hours on my hands and knees digging it up all over my yard, and then some! The elderly neighbor behind us has mentioned several times that she is trying to get rid of it, and as it spreads into our yard from hers, I dug up the strip of them that are hers. But this plant, it is voracious. The neighbor to the north of us is quite fond of his grass and has found a weed killer to combat this violet. He even gave us a bottle of it, I guess that's a hint! I am hesitant to use pesticides; I have read recently how this affects the honey bees. The only success I've had getting rid of this is digging deep and wide, but I just can't do that for the whole yard, and my husband would kill me. So what shall I do? I just may try the chemicals, and hope to completely eradicate this thing from the premises, so that I will never have to use it again.

In other gardening news, BFJ turned over my veggie garden for me while I was at a meeting last Saturday. Wasn't that nice of him? And then I made him dig a new bed. But it's very small. I planted edible pea pods there, and hope for a good crop. I tried growing peas once before and had a small amount of success: I wasn't sure when they were "ripe," and I only had one or two vines so not enough for a mouthful of peas. I think the primary problem was that I didn't amend the soil. This year I have higher expectations: I have a little more gardening experiene, and I DID amend the soil. Hopefully this will serve a dual purpose: a nice green screen between us and the neighbor, and something good to eat!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Bijou Basin Yarn

Last week, I had the pleasure of doing a photo shoot for Bijou Basin Ranch. I spent the day with a wonderful group of people, including Carl and Eileen, owners of Bijou Basin Ranch, as well as model Lynda, and designers Marly and Jill. I shot a few hundred pictures of their wonderful yarn, as well as some clothing item samples. Marly has more details on her site, as well as the Sweetheart Tunic she designed for this yarn. It was a lot of fun!

I am looking forward to getting ahold of some of this yarn for myself.
I should clarify, I did not take the pictures on their website, I just finished editing them. However, I did take the one in this post!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Top o' the Mornin' To Ya!

... more to come after school drop-off.


Many hours later...

I had an errand to run down in Denver. I always love driving through the city. There were many festive greens: planters, pants, green plywood over a walkway, ties, skirts, etc.

BFJ is 1/4 Irish, and we do like St. Patrick's Day, but I don't have a lot of SPD decorations. We do have a big green living room wall! I am planning to make stew and soda bread for dinner. Hopefully it'll be a hit. I was hoping to celebrate today by potting up a bunch of seeds but I haven't gotten to that yet. Maybe by the end of the month. On the other hand, I was very surprised, and cautiously pleased, to find so much green on the outside of my house this past week. Cautiously pleased because we haven't had much snow; we still have two months before one can confidently plant for summer, and I hope my eager sprouts are not killed by a late frost. I hope that we have more snow, and the plants I see can withstand it.

I think this is my allium, planted last fall. I haven't ever seen a picture of the bottom of an allium, just the top, so I can't say for sure, but I don't know what else it can be.

I thought that Teresa, Natalie, and Sue might appreciate this. I grew up in a parsonage, and there was a beautiful and very fragrant dark lilac between our house and the church. A couple years ago, when I knew my parents were soon to be leaving, I dug up a sucker and planted it in my yard. It is still teeny-tiny, but thriving.

Here we have the aquilegia caerulea 'Red Hobbit'. Since columbines are native to Colorado, I am not worried about this one. The picture of it in bloom is from last June, and it's hairy-looking because we'd just had some breezy days with cotton blowing around, but normally it doesn't have a halo like that.

My mother-in-law lives a couple of blocks away and has ten clematis. (I counted them last year.) I think they are so nice, so I've planted a few of my own. This one is Clematis x durandii, planted last year. It will theoretically grow up the side of my shed. I am very pleased to see it cheerily sprouting up already; last year it bloomed, although brand new and only about 8" tall. I have a trellis for it on my "to do" list.
And finally, I am SO relieved to see that some of my blue tulips survived the dog digging them up five times over the winter. It looks like only half of the twelve survived, but I am glad I made the effort to keep putting them back. I have high expectations. I'm not sure whether I can trust my dog to leave this spot alone, though, so I haven't taken the chicken wire off yet. (By the way, the chicken wire has not prevented her from trying to dig them up again, but has prevented her from succeeding!) I would like to plant some thyme between them to make it less inviting. What do you think? Will that keep her away??

If you could use even more green, visit the green week. Green is one my favorite colors, and I have tons but somehow, but I missed it.

Monday, March 16, 2009


... is almost here! I am disappointed it is starting like this.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Day at the Zoo

It is NOT a coincidence that I get great pictures of the monkeys every time I visit the zoo with my husband. They see him coming, they know him. But I can't tell you any more about it; I don't want to have my membership revoked.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Happy Anniversary

To a my brother and his wife, a great pair: may your love last forever.

Friday, March 6, 2009


Things are strange around here. It has been unseasonably warm. I knew that we'd have some warm days this spring, and I had in mind to touch up the paint on my shed, and some other non-plant garden and yard items when we had these days. However, I haven't been able to get to those things. We've had a lot of stuff going on at our house; primarily, my sister is moving in with us. She's single, still a bit more portable than the rest of us, and thought it would be a good time to take a break from rent while she looks for something to buy. She is going to be staying in what has been my craft room / guest room. I don't really have any good place to put all my stuff, but she deserves a room to herself, right? So I was forced to take a long look at all the projects I have started and not finished, as I took out one stack at a time. And they aren't all quilting projects; I have beads and scrapbooking stuff, painting, and so on. I am actually looking forward to getting it all organized and hopefully having some finished projects by the end of the year. I would love to be giving handmade gifts for Christmas, and depleting my pile of things to finish at the same time... We'll see.

Of course, my sister moving in with us is a big change, but that was not really the change I was thinking of when I titled my post. I have long wanted a new dishwasher, and now that I have it... Is it buyer's remorse, or is it really not living up to my expectations? My neighbor helped me put in the new dishwasher because, well, he offered, and I wanted to surprise BFJ. I didn't anticipate the installation leak, and then the old-pipes-being-turned-on-and-off leak, that required a different neighbor to come over with his acetylene torch. Then I had to switch phone/internet/cable providers. I was compelled by my disgust with the rate hikes of the old service provider; their rates have just about double - in two years! And I just hate change. I love new stuff, but I hate change. I kind of pined for my old, dirty, banged up dishwasher. But as it turns out, the new one really IS quieter. But now where do my big bowls fit?

Ironically, I love to rearrange the furniture. I think this is the only place I've ever lived where I just can't figure out where the furniture goes. Since we have Moving Day today, I thought I would do a little rearrangement so that it would be easier to get stuff in, and actually, it feels nice and fresh now.

Oh, let's talk some baseball: why do we keep losing our decent pitchers? I hope Cook can stay on top of things this year, and I would love to see Jason Hirsch make a comeback. He signed a baseball for me for one of my little friends. And he was a good pitcher :P back when he was on the active roster. While we are at it, let me just say that we here at ShortStoryLong were not too sad to see Holliday go. I know he had a great BA, but it was never in play at any of the games we've been to, and we could have used a little more running and a little less jogging in the outfield. I'm going to refrain from repeating what BFJ calls him.

About the weather, I would really be enjoying the break from the cold, only it's not a break. It just hasn't been cold. And I know we need snow and moisture for our dry little state. Even though I'm not looking forward to it, I hope it snows.

On the bright side of life, life is actually really good. I hear snow is coming this weekend. Oh, I have a new little cousin, too!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

March Forth!

Do you have something you've been putting off? Or something you just haven't had the courage to jump into? Today's the day. MARCH FORTH! I'm alive and well, and I have more than luck. How about you?

Monday, March 2, 2009

Happy March!

This oxalis reminds me of St. Paddy's Day.