Thursday, February 25, 2010

Signs of Spring

According to my calendar the First Day of Spring is a mere twenty four days off; that's only three and a half weeks. There are already signs that it is creeping in.  For example, in my mailbox:
   

And from the roof, a welcome sound, Northern Flickers drumming.  Since they do no damage but make this happy little sound, I don't mind.  They don't even drill in our trees but I think they do nest.  They're awfully hard to catch with the camera! 


In the backyard yesterday, I plotted out in the snow where I'm going to put my garden this year, and it was approved by the big chief.  In fact, he said I should bring it out a bit, so I did.  Then, my neighbor stopped by today and said, "Wow, that's going to be nice and big!"  So now all I have left to do is decide what to plant, order some seeds, till the ground, put up a fence, mark out the beds, haul in some soil, start the seeds, water and nurture them, gradually harden them off, plant them outside, water them, and watch them grow.  Next thing you know, it's a table full of food.  Piece o' cake! 

Any recommendations of what we should plant?  At the dinner table the other night we had two votes for corn and a vote for watermelon.  We had no luck with watermelon last year, so I don't know about that.  I really enjoyed the peas last year, and I'm definitely planning on some Honeybunch tomatoes.  (I thought surely I posted about them from my garden last year but I didn't find anything good so you'll just have to go check out the Burpee page which doesn't do them justice.)  I haven't ever started tomatoes from seed.  It would be a lot cheaper and it seems like it can't be too hard; the last couple of years I've had tons of tomato volunteers.  Anyone know?   

I enjoyed this post on little cucumbers and I am going to consider them.  We are moving the garden to a completely different spot this year so I hope I'll have better luck with cucumbers than I have in the past.  Actually I have already started gardening, just a simple little step: seed checking.  It's only been three days, though, so I don't know how they're doing.  I assume and hope lots of them will be viable.  I bought more seeds last year than I needed, and it would be nice to not have to toss them out and buy more!  

I hope you are getting happy things in the mail like I am; bye-bye February!      

Sunday, February 21, 2010

February

It's been a busy two weeks since I last posted.  To begin with, one of my boys had a homework assignment to make a box for Valentines.  Silly me, I got this great idea that we should make it extra special, Mod Podge it up.  And, we should all make Valentines!  It took me so long to talk them into it that once I realized we didn't have time for all this, I had a very difficult time talking them out of it.  Then I volunteered at the school parties, after which everyone in the house had a four day weekend. 

We enjoyed watching the opening ceremonies for the Olympics.  It has been awhile since we have sat down and watched something this long in its entirety.  Although I kept hearing that the Beijing Olympics opening ceremony would be hard to top, I personally felt the people of Vancouver did an outstanding job.  I was surprised to discover that this blog I frequent is written from somewhere nearby, and I have enjoyed reading a little more personal perspective on The Games than just what Bob Costas can tell me every night.  As you might know, I'm a hometown girl and I usually root for the home team but not always; we were rooting for Ohno, Celski, Vonn and White.  I'm looking forward to the ice dancing tonight; I'm not sure if there's a US team with hopes of a medal.  For some reason, I thought ice dancing might have been removed from The Games but I'm glad they have not been.

I've also had five days of "real" work:  knitting for someone else, babysitting, and attending a long monthly meeting.  And last but not least, I've had a miserable cold for several days.  So you see, I really did not have anything to say that would be of much excitement.  I have been enjoying reading others' blogs, but haven't gotten to them as often, and haven't had a lot of time to sit and ponder a comment; it is nice to see the positive things going on out there, though. 

I have finally managed to finish the book for my knitters' book group, The Help.  It was a great book.  Not only well written with and interesting voices, but mystery, suspense, intrigue, social issues, and a little bit of romance.  If I had to describe the topic in one word it would be desegregation.  Our next book is Knitting the Threads of Time which I confess I have not yet picked up. Hopefully I will have time to get this in before the next meeting.

I am looking forward to March:  St. Patrick's Day, a birthday and Spring!  We're almost there.  I hope you are all keeping warm and cheery! 

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Photo Shoot

Don't you think depth-of-field is magical?

Last winter, right after I learned how to knit, I didn't know what I didn't know.  I made my sister a hat, and it was too small.  Then I made her another hat, and it was just right.  Then I made myself a hat which I wore and wore and wore.  And still wear, although I can never get a great picture of it.  It didn't occur to me to write up a pattern right away, but luckily I took notes.  
 
This winter, my sister told me that she'd lost the hat-that-was-just-right, and asked if I'd make her another hat.  Would I!  I made her a hat in exchange for her modeling time.  Sometimes I'm so cold I wonder if I'll ever be warm again, but then I just put on my hat and I'm warm.  Or at least, my ears are warm!  So my new hat pattern is called Glacier.
Here are a few pictures of my sister in her hat from the photo shoot I mentioned earlier. 
 
Pattern:  Glacier (rav link)
Yarn:  Manos de Uruguay Wools Clasica in Powder
Needles:  US8, Addis of course!

And she modeled the cowl I made for myself, also.  Aren't sisters great!

Pattern:  Burberry-Inspired Cowl Neck Scarf by Julianne Smith
Yarn:  Berrock Pure Merino in color 8520

Storms Moving In

I had a photo shoot today and just shot this mountain on a whim, but I kinda like how it turned out.