Archive for the ‘garden’ Tag

Weekend update, photo-free again   13 comments

It isn’t that I don’t want to share photos with you, it’s that I don’t have any to share! The knitting moves along steadily, especially since I went to Whorls and Purls on Saturday and did a couple of rows (I am over 400 stitches per row now) but is not photo-worthy.  It will be, soon, though!  Only 4 more rows to go, then the bind off, then the blocking and you will get to see the Moon and Sky shawl complete!  I should have that ready for camera by the weekend.

I did some spinning!  A few hours total, about half a bobbin full.  It looks just like the bobbins I bored you with in July as it is still that same spin.  I think when I finish filling these three bobbins I will be more than half way done with the spin.

I did the last big step of the secret fiber project, just one small step left, and it is done.  I have taken loads of photos of this project, so will be able to share with you later in all its glory.

I moved three wagon loads of dirt, and that finished filling the raised bed garden box that will house the garlic for next year.  I pulled this year’s garlic – the bulbs are smaller this year than last, not sure why, but I hope that fresh dirt will help.  It’s drying now.  Some will be saved for fall planting, the rest will be eaten.  Yum. I also ripped out the strawberry plants.  They likely will be back as I doubt very much I got all the roots, but I did enough that I could add some dirt to that box and plant the rhubarb mom gave me.  I think I will call that the pie box.  🙂

And I cleaned up the box that housed the garlic this year, got it ready to plant some seeds.  I am going to scatter some poppy seeds and wildflower seeds.  This is when Ma Nature would plant them, so this is when I will plant them.

I planted my newest heirloom primrose in the front yard near the rock.  I hope it will be happy there, it will get a lot of sun morning and midday, but then it will get nice shade.  So it likely will go dormant in the summer, but I am hopeful that it will love being by that warm rock in the spring.  The last one Mom gave me did not survive in the back yard, I don’t think ( unless it went dormant in May!) so I hope this one likes this spot.  Glad Mom is able to keep hers growing and thriving so that it constantly needs dividing.  I have to check with her whether it was her grandmother or great grandmother who brought the original plant over from England, but I know it was a LONG time ago, and the women of our family have been cultivating and dividing and sharing the plant ever since.  I would hate to be the one who can’t grow it.  🙂

I have less than half the dirt pile left to move, but now I have filled all the boxes, I have to figure out what to do with it all!  I know I want some to go on the lilacs out back, that might be two more loads.  Then what?  I could have A build me another box or two, and expand my gardening out into the back yard, but that would have to happen pretty fast or the crabgrass will win the war for the dirt.  I also could build the garden I know I want along the west side of the house, but that would be another major undertaking like the front was. And it would mean relocating a kayak, which I guess I could do if I had to.  🙂  I should start collecting newspapers again, I guess. If nothing else, I could move the dirt out back, cover it with newspapers, weight them down and leave it until spring.  That might be it.

This is the really big event of the weekend, though – I VACUMMED the screened porch.  A made some new cat perches so the cats can hop up and down to the rafters from almost anywhere in the room.  Then she asked me if I would vacuum when she was done.  She knows that this was a major request.  I foolishly sweetly agreed and it was down right awful.  I think this is partly because I don’t just vacuum the floors, I vacuum all the nooks and crannies where cat hair gathers, and I vacuum the furniture.  It was sunny, hot, and humid out there.  It took two sessions, with lemonade and knitting in between, but I got it done, got the furniture back where it goes and it looks lovely.  I rewarded myself with a nice swim.

The cats love their new perches.  Now they can more easily traverse the room at ceiling height.  They always could go from one end to the other, but crossing was tricky due to the way the rafters and supports are constructed.  They have some boards A put up there to help, but the sillies hop along next to those.  These perches are staggered throughout the porch, and so they can be anywhere, look out any window.  I told them if they don’t use them, I am putting plants and candles on them, so Allie immediately hopped her way up and around, rubbing every corner she came to.  that meant Zumba had to do the same.  No plants and candles there!

And A said that while I am away, she will work on her storage closet shelving upstairs, and THE BOOKCASE in the loft!  It will have been worth it to vacuum the porch if those things happen. She is doing it to get her office FINALLY cleaned up and sorted out so she can use it.  That might inspire me to really work on the craft room when I return.  Or it might not.  🙂

It was a busy weekend, but I still feel rested and like I had enough down time.

 

 

 

 

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Posted August 14, 2017 by salpal1 in how I spent my day, how it came out, What I love

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Why I am glad I live where I live… and how pretty it is!   22 comments

Here’s what the dashboard said when I got into my car after work yesterday.  Granted, it is on the west side of the building, no shade, and pavement.  But still!

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101 degrees.  Just not right!

I drove 18 miles and stopped at the Post Office on the way home.

Here’s what it said there:

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86.  Better!

Then I went home (after getting gas, don’t worry, I won’t be stranded) and walked into the house.  No AC, didn’t even shut the curtains in the morning, just left the sliders cracked open, and the back (northside) windows open.

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Now THAT is more like it!  I opened all the windows, and it only went up to 76 a couple of hours later.  (Sorry about the very low light photo, I was in a hurry.  🙂 )  That was very good news, because I needed a cool house after this.

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Why, look at that!  The front garden is done at last!  I was just in a mood to power through it last night, I am so sick of the project.

I couldn’t fix the flat tire on the wagon, it won’t hold air.  I didn’t have the truck, and the hardware store is closed anyway.  I’ll get it fixed in the next few weeks.  I took the old wagon with 4 flats and used that instead, only filling it about half full, and just muscling it to where I needed it.  That meant more trips, but it worked.

I ran out of newspaper and so the area around the stepping stones will need more weeding than the rest, but I can live with that – or take the mulch off next week and put down paper.  Yeah, that won’t happen.

There was a mouse trying to build a house under the pile of bags of mulch.  Every time I took a bag, he took off.  The first time we were both terrified.  After that I just waited for him to run away, then continued on. Not sure where he will live now as I used all the mulch.

I gave up on the edging (stepdad did a good job starting it.)  I set one block, poorly, and then said forget it for this year.  Put my loose stones back where the edge will be someday.

So, it isn’t perfect, but boy, it is SO much better!  And next year there will be real flowers in there, I can’t wait!

Now.  I do have to get the cart fixed, because I have half of a dirt pile in the front of the house that I need to move to the back of the house.  I sure hope the weather cools off before that has to happen.

I finished all of this at about 6:30 last night, and there was no distant rumbling, so I got into the pool, cleaned out all the bits of trees and bugs, and then actually got to swim about and enjoy the cool water! By the time A got home from work, I was cool, clean, and relaxed. And don’t feel too badly for her having a twelve hour day – she was out on an island all day training the town office staff. That meant two nice long boat rides and a gorgeous view for her.  And a not very long drive home afterwards.  Plus she stopped for a root beer float along the way, so she actually had a decent day, for a work day.  🙂

Oh, and in case you forget where I started just a month ago on this garden project, here you go – a reminder.  🙂 (That pile of 6 bags of mulch – what was I thinking?  We used probably 30 or 40 bags before we were done.) You can barely see the rock!

After one long hard day or work from 4 people:

Only one of whom is crazy enough to let me put his picture on this blog, but as he is the one who first said he was willing to work hard to get it all going, I am thrilled to share it here again!

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They got me started, but left to my own devices, I slowed right down. Working alone when it is hot is just not my thing, apparently.  But a vision of how it would look all done kept me going.  For a month!  It should not have taken so long but I am a wimp about the heat.

However, there were little things motivating me… a flower that bloomed in spite of crazy activity all around… a dream of how pretty the bushes are when they bloom, and how much prettier they will be now that they are pruned, and have dirt and are happy!

 

And now I can move on to the next project.

 

After I knit a few rows.

 

Posted August 2, 2017 by salpal1 in how I spent my day, how it came out, What I love

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Another weekend come and gone   10 comments

And it was a lovely one!  The weather was absolutely perfect!  We did some visiting with A’s sister on Saturday , and got the cars serviced, chores done haphazardly between outings.

I did some knitting at the Toyota dealership, but they were so quick on both cars that I didn’t get as much done as normal.  🙂 I did get lots done at Whorls and Purls in the afternoon Saturday – finished all the knitting on my vest, and wove in the ends!  The shoulders are a little wider than I would like, but I can fix that – either with a small pleat or some shirring along the seam.  Have to do that, put on the two little buttons, and then block it.  Once I do that, I will take photos for you.

When that was done, I immediately focused on my Moon and Sky shawl – have about 40 rows left on that, so I expect it will move along now.

Sunday we visited A’s other sister, the one with the new house.  It looks amazingly better than the first time we saw it!  She has been painting and cleaning, and had plumbers and carpenters in. She is living there now, and not quite settled, but certainly settled enough!  I think the house will be perfect for her, it is small but not tiny, and it has loads of storage and a huge yard.

When we got home from that visit, I changed into my new gardening outfit, and went out , determined to finish the front garden, then go for a swim.  Sadly, because I was so much earlier than normal, the front was in the hot sun, and I did almost nothing before I decided that if I was going to be out in the sun,  it should be in the pool.  So I left the gardening for this evening, and hopped into the pool, which was delightful!  I am not supposed to be out in the sun at all, so I was swimming in long sleeves and a hat, but I still loved it.

The rest of the afternoon was spent working on the secret fiber project (in about a month, I can share with you what it is!) and knitting the shawl and plotting what to make for the craft fair.  I will have to really get that organized this week so that I can churn out things for that!  Debbie at the Purple Fleece loaned me a couple of great display pieces – things that lift the inventory up off the flat table – always a challenge for me to do.  If I was doing lots of these shows, I would design something elegant for this purpose, but as I only do about one every year or two, it hardly seems worth it.  But she is nice enough to share, since she no longer does shows. It got my juices flowing to think about how I would display things, and what those things should be.  🙂

The weather continues to be wonderful today, a little warm, but I am ok with a LITTLE warm.  🙂 So I intend to get that garden in the front completely done, and then figure out where I will put all the left over dirt.  As my mother said , the whole yard needs dirt, so I could really put it anywhere, lol.  I have a few plants that would love the help, and a few raised beds I want to move, so I might do that this week, and start hauling that dirt around to the back where I want more things to grow.  We will see how motivated I feel.  After I finish the front and have my swim, of course.  🙂

Hey! That was mean!   22 comments

So last night I get home, decide it is nice enough to do my one hour of gardening and then have a nice swim.

Got all set, went out and pulled weeds and shoveled dirt and  finished off an area that took three bags of mulch to cover.  Took more than an hour, and worked up a good healthy sweat (read: was drenched.) Looked at what is left and think it is really do-able by the weekend.

Cleaned up the gardening mess and headed for the pool.

CRACK!

No matter how foolish I am for a nice swim, I know not to go anywhere near the water when I hear thunder.

So, I went in the house and worked on the secret fiber project instead.

While I was glad to work on that project, I was very disappointed to not get my cooling, relaxing swim.

I was also disappointed to not get any rain.  Just rumbling thunder.

That was mean, Mother Nature.  I did the work, I should get the reward.

 

 

Posted July 28, 2017 by salpal1 in how I spent my day

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I am not posting this until I have photos   24 comments

So who knows how old this news will be by the time I hit “publish”!

I have not been doing anything new or dramatic, but I do feel like small amounts of consistent attention is resulting in progress that shows.

In the yard, I have the back bed all ready to settle in and await some fall and spring planting. I want to put in some sweet peas next spring to offer a bit of shade on the porch, and some oriental poppies for their amazing color.  And I think I still want a dwarf lilac in this bed, but I don’t think I want to move the one I have, which means I should get another one, right?

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In front, I have been working on it a bit at a time, and I worked last night until I ran out of mulch.  Tonight I will get another ten bags, which MIGHT be enough for what is left. Not sure I have enough newspaper, but I can always buy a few weekend papers, right?  I have figured out what I want in this bed, but it might not get it this year.  I want some delphiniums, daylilies of different colors, hollyhocks near the porch, and maybe some oriental poppies.  I am not sure how I will do this, as in where to put the things that go dormant so the garden doesn’t look awful when they go by… maybe just have the day lilies interspersed among everything? The hollyhocks I can grow from seed, the rest I will purchase plants, so it might take a few years before I have everything I need.

The pile of dirt still looms, even though I have taken many wagon loads of it to other places.  Need to get it all used up and covered before that darned crabgrass takes it over and makes it impossible to move.

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It might mean that I actually work on the far future plan of turning this

into a garden space. My plan was to cut it way back this fall, cover with heavy plastic or really thick paper, and mulch, and let it sit for a LONG time – like maybe a year.  I don’t trust blackberries and sweet ferns to not come right back. So maybe I will put this soil down under the paper and mulch before I cover it up.  It can’t hurt, and it will get the mountain out of the front of the house.  Of course, it will be a lot of work… seems like a fall job.  Which means actually weeding the pile of dirt this summer.  Ye gods.

In the house things are moving along.  I spin at least a little, and often a lot, every day.

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I aim to be ready to ply my second set of bobbins for the big spin no later than Saturday, and when I do that, I will be more than 1/3 of the way through this project.  I thought I would be farther along by now, but I am not, and so what? It won’t go bad.  I just have to persevere and it will happen.  Then I can knit myself a sweater with this lovely stuff. That keeps me spinning away.  It helps that each bobbin is so different from the others.  I think if I was doing this much of all one colorway, it would be hard to stay interested.

Knitting – I decided that doing a little on all my projects was not working for the part of me that likes to see things complete, so I am focusing on one thing at a time.

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First up is the handspun vest, I think I mentioned it in an earlier post.  Even though some days I might only do a row, I try to more than that, and so I am quite close to done.  I have a couple more inches up to the shoulders, then it is finished!  I am thinking this will be done this weekend, since I will take it to Whorls and Purls on Saturday.

Once the vest is done, I will attack the Moon and Sky shawl, as I want to wear it and I want to cast on my next shawl.  In fact, I want to cast on two of them, but I only let myself do one at a time.  This rule does not keep me from swatching for and planning for the shawl after that, just doesn’t let me cast it on. So I will be swatching and planning soon, lol.

The blue striped socks also come along.  I finished up the first sock (except the heel) on Saturday, and cast on the second sock this week.

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Not much lunch time knitting this week, so progress is slow.  But I have until the end of August to finish this pair, and still stay on track for the year.  I don’t see a problem with that.

The pool has been a godsend this week, it is so hot and muggy!

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I have a funny little after work routine now – when I get home, I change into my bathing suit, add sneakers and a hat, do as much gardening as I can stand, water the garden, rinse myself off, shed sneakers and hop in the pool.  Luckily, it hasn’t been buggy!  I am glad neighbors can’t see this crazy lady gardening in her swimsuit, lol.

That means I don’t get in the house to think about knitting or spinning or supper until close to seven , which is not normal for me!  I like to be settled in and knitting or spinning by then, not just wondering what is for supper.  🙂  But summer is a short season, and I am motivated to do this yard work, so as long as I am motivated, I will do this routine.  I hope it pays off with a pretty garden next summer!

A has had a busy several weeks now, with no let up in sight.  This week she actually is away overnight for two nights, which makes everything feel sort of off for both of us.  I will be glad when she gets home! Maybe she will remind me to come in the house sooner so I am not up so late at night knitting and spinning.  🙂

Here’s a pretty daylily I didn’t remember I had, I thought the tall ones were all orange!

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Randomness   15 comments

I am afraid this will be a rambling post with not too many photos.

It was a good weekend, it didn’t go exactly as planned, but it was OK.  Saturday morning instead of doing some gardening and swimming in the pool before knitting, we went up to Orrington to visit my SIL, just home from the hospital with a knee replacement.  She put it off YEARS longer than I would have, but it went amazingly well, and she is happily ensconced on the couch, with rocker nearby for exercising. Husband is doing stellar nursing work.  He ran out to the store while we were there, I think glad for the respite, lol.

Came back in time to grab some early lunch and then pick up my new neighbor and head off to knitting for the afternoon at Whorls and Purls.  I actually brought the spinning wheel – traveler’s first trip in the car.  She fits neatly in the back seat of the Prius – yea!  Actually, the Prius holds lots more than one might think.  It is like Mary Poppins bag.  Way bigger inside than out.

A and I grabbed some fried shrimp to go for supper and had a quiet night indoors.

Sunday I woke up full of energy, AT LAST feeling better (maybe fried shrimp cures tummy viruses?) and did some early spinning, then layered newspaper and mulch over the garden that has nothing planted in it this year, so it is ready for next year.  I really hope the whole newspaper mulch thing works for killing weeds, if it does, I am going to be THRILLED and use it all over the yard, lol.

Then I ate a delicious breakfast A cooked for me before I headed out to return bottles, go to the dump, and the hardware store (for more mulch, lol) got home, unloaded all of that stuff, spread a last bag over the garden in back, and headed inside for a rest.  After that, the day got much more like you would expect from me, lol.  I knitted and spun while I waited for the sun to move over to make some shade in the yard.  Then I did some watering, jumped in the pool for a quick swim and fishing out all the tree bits that had landed in there this week.  It was a WEEK of no pool for me.  So very glad I am able to go in it now as it is supposed to be hot this week.

That was followed by some weed pulling while I drip dried, and then a relaxing evening watching Turn with A. Oh, that Simcoe gives me the creeps.  🙂

I started my list for the trip to Wisconsin.

It is hysterical!  I was worried I would forget some important thing I promised to bring, so I started jotting things down. After all, we leave in 49 days!  So my list starts with “Crock Pot.  Waffle Iron.” and progresses through some secret stuff to “knitting projects: Socks.  Sweater. Shawl.” to “Backpack. Road trip food.  Vitamins.”  before it ever gets near anything like, say clothes.  🙂

I have to get everything organized carefully since we will be on the road for three days (2 nights), then there for 5 days (4 nights) and then on the road again, probably for 4-5 days and 3-4 nights.  I don’t want to unload everything at each hotel stop, so going out I want to have a smaller bag with travel items, and then I will reorganize before we leave Wisconsin.

Beyond going for the reason to be there – Ravelry meet up and Wisconsin Sheep and Wool festival, on the way home, Mom and I are doing a few things – we are meeting up with some old school friends of hers in Chicago on Sunday, and we plan to stop an extra day at Niagara Falls (Monday night, Tuesday?) before making a mad dash race for home.  Which might be a two day mad dash, depending on how we feel, and how anxious we are to be through with the car and driving. Or how bad traffic in New England is.

I am SO excited to be doing this – I have not done a big road trip like this in a very long time, and one without my wonderful A doing all the driving?  Not in about 15 years.  Heading west, we plan to go through Canada, then cut across Michigan, and take the ferry across Lake Michigan.  Coming home, because of the Chicago lunch, we will head south, and zip across Indiana and  Ohio, sticking close to the lakes. From Buffalo, we will do some more zipping across New York – and yes, I know how darned long that will take, Thank goodness for Route 90. It may be boring, but it will get us back to New England.  It is a lot of driving, and I hope everyone else stays off the road while we do this.  🙂

A just looks at me like I am crazy and says she is glad to not be going, she will stay home and tend the fire, lol.  Or play with the cats. Ort help her sister with projects in her new house.  We will each have fun, but I will buy yarn!

And speaking of yarn – I finished all but the heel of one blue striped sock – that heel will wait for the other sock to get to the same place, so that I can make them match.  And I am making very good progress on the hand knit vest – might finish it up some time this week. Spinning update – I have refilled two of the three bobbins, and will work on the third one this week.  Hope to be plying again by the weekend. Plus I am plotting some secret yarn related things which I hope to begin work on.  I will have to wait to share them with you, but they are going to be so fun and exciting!

 

See, random.  No photos.  Maybe I will be better about getting some for you this week.  🙂

 

 

what weekend?   22 comments

This weekend flew by.  A said to me a few minutes ago “well, this must have been the shortest weekend on record.”

I guess that is what happens when you work a perfectly crazy week, and then work hard on the weekend as well. That is what she did.

Saturday my step brother J came over, bringing along with him Mom and B, all geared up to work in the yard.  I still have more after photos to take, but the transformation is amazing.  Of course, there is much more work to be done, but what has been done gives me hope and energy to carry on.

Here is a little taste:

Front of house before J spent 6 or 7 hours at hard labor:

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and after:

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there is still more edging to be done, and weeding, and dirt added, then everything mulched, but I feel like I can do that in spurts this summer.

Mom worked on this:

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And I need to get a better after photo, her work was equally impressive, but hard to photograph.

I worked on this:

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and was too tired to walk back there to get a photograph, but I will do that for you soon. I thought we were moving a bush back there, but we didn’t, so I will amend the soil and mulch it to keep the weeds down.  Next year I will put flowers in there.

While we did all of that, A and B got our old lawnmower repaired and running so we could give that to a family member  who just got a new house with tons of lawn.  Our goal is to have NO lawn, so we don’t need it.  B also helped set all that edging and showed me how to do it so I can finish the job.

By three, mom and I were beat, so we went for a swim, A and B settled in the living room to cool off and we all waited for J to cry uncle, which he finally did just before 5.  Here he is all cleaned up and ready to go for his lobster roll supper.  He doesn’t even look tired! But he looks proud!  The amazing thing is that he wants to come back next summer and do this for two days!

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In other news:

This weekend saw the start of the Tour de Fleece – fiber’s answer to the Tour d France.  I was all ready and waiting weeks ago. Fiber prepped, bobbins empty.  Let’s go!

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I started early Saturday morning before everyone arrived, and did some spinning after they left.

 

Here’s where I was at the end of Day 1:

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This is going to be a sweater quantity and then some – just tons of yarn in a wild medley of blues, greens and purples with some pinks thrown in.

Today I spun in the morning again, and after a little road trip we took.  I finished the day looking like this.  (Sorry I had to use a flash in the low light.

Finished filling the first bobbin, then started the second one, which has very little pink but lots of aqua, green and blue with some purple.

I expect progress will slow down now because I do have to go to work tomorrow  Sigh.

Which gets us right back to where we started.  this was a very short weekend, and had a secret road trip in it that I can’t share with you yet. Soon, though, soon.

So tomorrow is work, but then we get a day off for the 4th.  we will head over to Moms, J wants to cook us a nice holiday meal.  That’s right, his other great love is cooking.  He really might be the perfect houseguest.  I know Mom loves having him come stay for a few weeks each summer.  🙂

And in case you are wondering abut the knitting.  Though I tried, nothing got finished before Saturday, except those red socks!  The vest did grow a lot, and I started the next pair of socks, crazy blue ones. Sorry about the bad phone shot, I will get you a better one soon.

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I hope you had a nice weekend that seemed longer to you!

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