Nigerian Raspberry (?) Check out the number of bud stalks, Dearest Sister!
This is a list I started about Tuesday of this week. How well did I do? Let's review, shall we?
Complete the socks of magickness, and start another pair. (Hmm…which pattern?)
>I am into the gusset decreases, and not close to needing another pattern!
Graft completed dishcloth. Make progress on WIP.
>Maybe tonight, while watching some TV...maybe not...other things may call my attention.
Make progress on the homespun scarf. (Frogged and restarted in a broken rib pattern)
>Now this got done! I have achieved about 9 inches on this. A photo is in the future!
Check out Miss Muffett pattern; wind yarn (oh boy!); gather supplies.
>This morning I looked at the yarn I am going to use...
Spin five-eight rolags of alpaca. (Or more!)
>About 3-4 rolags got spun. I don't remember if I did one or two Thursday.
Make cards for June birthdays, and Father’s Day.
Line up a couple of photoshop tutorials to work through.
>Pushed off ...again...
Clean and oil sewing machine. (Also check out brand of treadle machine.)
>Singer not cleaned and oiled, BUT...(please ignore the dust...not my forte!)
(It's says 'Blue Grass', and I have the shuttle and about 5 bobbins! Check out the embellishment on the head.)
Plant new plants.
>Yeah, baby! Complete and finito!
Lest I forget. There’s the neighborhood garage sale next Saturday…so maybe these should be goals for…the immediate future. I do like open-ended scheduling. So much less pressure!
>All the stuff for the sale is in the garage and dusted (ick! See above.), cleaned, and ready for pricing. Pricing will happen after work this next week. I just ran out of steam. I am so grateful for Wonderful Guy's help.
So I look at it this way. I don't have to go to the effort of making a list this next week. This one should suffice very well!
My lists are guidelines now, and no longer serve as whipping posts showing me what I haven't achieved. I do the best I can, and try to be at peace with that.
And now for some parting shots of May, iris currently blooming...
…Katherine Kruse, which was my mother’s maiden name. I did not take this photo, but it is one of my favorites of her.
My mother and father took flying lessons in the early 1940’s in single engine aircraft. I believe he recieved his license to fly solo. She did not, as it was discovered she was pregnant with Only Brother, and therefore was not allowed to accumulate time flying in the cockpit by herself.
Then there were three small ones, five years and under. No time for such lofty pursuits!
Momma loved flying, though, and in later years, when the family went on ski vacations, she said she considered learning to ski as that might be as close to flying as she would ever get again. We encouraged her learning, and I believe she could have done it, but she chose not to.
She looks so ‘Amelia Earhart’ in this photo, a true aviatrix.
Even with the windy and rainy weather over our long weekend, Wonderful Guy and I got in two hikes, one to Pawnee Buttes, and one to Rabbit Mountain. Both were suggested in a “Best Wildflower Hikes” book he gave me back for Christmas when we were just keeping company.
(That reminds me of that first Christmas and trying to figure out the appropriate gift. I decided on a print from a photographer friend of the Tetons in winter, and two books on hiking. And I received from him….two prints from the same photographer friend and a book on wildflower hikes!)
But I digress…our hikes were very windy, but full of flowers. Pawnee Buttes is out on the windswept prairie, and with weather moving in, we didn’t tarry much for photo ops. I got a few, but haven’t really studied them. Rabbit Mountain, however, was a sunnier day, less prairie-ish and more foothills-ish. The flowers were showier and plentiful.
I spotted my first spiderwort of the year, and in climbing to get a shot of it, found my first snake of the year. Not big, not dangerous, but still….surprising.
We spotted this butterfly and Wonderful Guy got several in-focus shots. I just love my little digital camera!
Wildflower Roll Call: Wallflower, spiderwort, candytuft, butter and eggs, penstemon, wild geranium, erigeron daisies, cinquefoil, salsify, prairie verbena, copper mallow, purple ground cherry, and meadow arnica.
After working on understanding the directions, and finally figuring out what EZimmerman meant...more or less...with the help of the Ravelry BSJ group, all of the the sudden I found myself within twelve rows of the end!
Actually, I had a bit more than that, as I added cuffs and a collar, per the Wiki directions.
The buttons I found in my collection of buttons. The card was marked as costing 10 cents. For four buttons. I had 2 cards, so I figure accessorizing cost 12.5 cents
I had just enough yarn, too! I love having 'just enough'! I picked it up at the Lambspun sale last October for 40% off. It is 50/50 wool/mohair. Very cushy and softy for my bebe.
I used sz 9 needles, trying to get the sweater to the 12-18 month size. Gauge was good toward that end, according to conventional wisdom, but I am thinking it looks like more of a 2 year old sweater. Alas, I cannot try it out, as the Grandbebe Girl and her parents are visiting her Eldest Aunt.
By the way, Wonderful Guy was duly impressed.
Thanks, Wisest Sister, for forwarding me the EZ books. I am loving them!
We are finishing up five days off, celebrating the anniversary, doing some hiking, some yard work, and being adaptable with the weather. Tomorrow is back to work for both of us.
Lake Helene, at the base of Notchtop, first hike of Labor Day Weekend, 2002
The year of the Dee-vorce, I set a goal to cover 100 miles hiking that spring/summer/fall. I got a pretty good start on that, but then a series of circumstances slowed me down, ranging from travel to a whopping virus to the X finally moving out (another story for another post). Come Labor Day weekend, I had only totaled up 60-some miles.
The divorce recovery group in which I had participated the previous winter had continued to get together for dinners, birthdays, hiking, skiing, keeping up with each other and sharing experiences. One of the group held a birthday get-together Friday of that Labor Day weekend, and I announced to the group, that if any were interested, I was going to be hiking all three days, in an effort to rack up more miles toward my goal of 100. I told them where I was going, and when I would be leaving from my house.
Next morning, the only one who showed up was Wonderful Guy. (He was seeing someone else at the time, but she was working on some consulting projects on the weekends, and not really a hiker.) So off we went. All three days. We had shared a lot previously of our personal stories as part of the group, and knew each other’s background and history. Our stories had much in common in, which allowed us to understand what the other was talking about in very clear ways. We walked and talked and took photos, and we joked, then we talked some more. And we laughed together with each other. Finally laughing again. That felt good.
The weather continued to be dry and clear, and I wanted to get in more miles. His friend was still working on weekends, so he hiked with me over the next few weekends, too. We were already good friends, as only people get when they have shared some of the worst times of their lives. And we became closer friends. I decided I would tell him of my first venture back into the ‘dating world’. Yes, I had a blind ‘coffee’ date set up, but hadn’t told anyone. I was very apprehensive this first time out. Wonderful Guy told me how for his first ‘coffee date’, they had ended up at different coffee shops on opposite sides of town, and what an opportunity for growth that was! I was horrified!
Well. Guess what happened to me? Yep. Same thing. I was glad I had shared with someone and it was good it was with Wonderful Guy. Eventually, it was a comfort...
Then this other person he was seeing decided that she wanted something different, and our hikes together became even more of a time of sharing and learning, and it was mostly me doing the learning from Wonderful Guy. His insights on compassion and healing and unconditionally loving were mighty astounding. (He said he learned things from me, too, but..yeah..you know…whatever…)
We hiked every weekend day through September. The jackets and warmer clothing came out and we hiked into October. The 100 mile mark came and went. 125…130…150… we were still walking and talking…and sharing a dinner here and there…and a motorcycle ride or two, to be truthful.
Pretty soon we came to the conclusion that we were enjoying each other’s company way more than anyone else’s that we were having coffee with, or dancing with, or sharing nachos and margs with. What we were sharing with each other was way easier than figuring out ‘dating’ all over again at our age.
Or maybe what we were sharing with each other was just the best way ever to build a relationship…with a foundation of honesty, of friendship, and of acceptance for who the other person simply is.
Here we are, coming up on six and a half years of friendship, learning about each other, letting each other be themselves, and accepting that for what it is.
I have posted photos of some of these iris already, but not with as many blooms, and Dearest Sister needs…needs…to see them.
Hot Dog and Mustard (Yes, that is the real name!)
Silverado (we think). Very fragrant! And then there are these. Not tall bearded, and funny in the bud formation.
And Tanzanian Tangerine surprised me today! One bloom stalk on a freshly relocated rhizome from last year. Always a gift. In fact, there are several bloom stalks that have shot up this week with the warmer than usual weather.
I am seeing some lilacs blooming around town, but mostly white and other hybrid varieties, or bushes in very protected places. My backyard bushes, the old fashioned kind, are not opening up. I think the really cold night a few weeks ago ‘nipped them in the bud’, as it were. So sad…but it’s always a race between the last frost and the lilacs here. This year, weather won. I love lilacs. Maybe next year.
..but not because I am older necessarily. Wonderful Guy and I had a very active weekend, with a bike ride, a walk in the open area next to our home, and an almost 5 mile hike. Our 'build-up' hikes have been 'easy' or 'easy to moderate', and probably less than 3 miles. This one was 'moderate to difficult', very steep, and put our hiking chops to the test.
I felt it necessary to ride in this morning, too. Got to get those hours in for the exercise-a-thon. Our team finished last in the standings last week.
There was lots of yard work, too, but not the hauling and digging kind. More in the nature of tricking out the patio with pots of annuals and such. Very pretty!
Thanks for all the birthday well wishing. The weekend was very pleasant. In the past, I tended to have expectations of what others should be doing for my special day. Often, I didn't make these expectations known, believing that 'they should know!' While perhaps it might have been considerate for 'others' to think outside the box of themselves, I have come to believe the truth in this -"Expectations are pre-destined resentments". I have learned that I am responsible for my wants and my needs, and it is not a wise choice to depend on, to expect, others to fulfill those for me.
This is really a very deep lesson, and it involves changing alot of thinking and behavior patterns that have been finely honed over decades, but it was worth the self examination and the work to figure out why I do the things I do.
Life goes much smoother when I give to myself what I need emotionally, spiritually, and physically, without the unrealistic expectation that others 'ought to know'. Just another lesson it took me forty plus years to learn, but now I try to live life on life's terms, and not try to make life fit what I think it should be.
I had to frog the BSJ and restart. But that's okay! It's past the frogging point already. Pictures of the hike and yard and knitting tomorrow. (Well, maybe not all at once...)
These greeted me this morning. I bring you Hot Dogs and Mustard!
And more Silverado!
Wonderful Guy and I have finished the little things we wanted to do around the house, which for me included putting my tomatoes in the ground! I also brought up the plants that wintered over in the basement. I have rosemary! I have sage! I have a geranium! (I also have some white flies....)
Now we are off on the bikes for donuts (mmmm....donuts....) and then probably some hiking at Lory State Park. It is a beautiful day.
Oh, and we had a birthday dinner with Youngest Daughter, Grandbebe Girl, and Bebe's Daddy last night. So much fun!
Several years ago, in her yard in Overland Park, Dearest Sister planted some hyacinth beans. She thought they were fun plants to grow, broad green leaves with purple veins, vibrant pink/magenta flowers, and big purple seedpods. She gave me some seeds so I could grow my own, but my success growing from seed has been limited. Two years ago, while shopping with a coupon at a local nursery, I came across some of the same plant. I was excited! I had just the place for it, and bought two little 2 ½ “ pots.
I raved to Wonderful Guy about the wonders we were going to see. However, what we saw was more along the lines of Jack and the Beanstalk. We were seriously concerned about this thing lifting the roof from the eaves. No flowers, no beans, no purple veins. Giant green leaves, and lots of thick stems. First frost, it croaked, becoming a giant slimy mass of green black deadness. Definitely, a mutant, and no way to continue with no method for germination, pollination, seeds, or way to come back next year in general. Wonderful Guy looked at me sideways…
"Fee Fi Fo Fum...I smell the blood of an Englishman...."
There are some things I must try again. This was one of those things.
Last year, I spied the bean plants again, and bought some more. This time it was a spectacular success, with fun tendrils reaching for the truck every time it was driven into the garage. Wonderful Guy could no longer give me trouble about the giant green monster plant that did nothing. Every time I came around the corner and saw it, it brought a smile. I had tried to plant different things at that spot, and nothing had survived, but now perhaps I had discovered something that would do.
I collected seeds, of course, but the pods didn’t dry right, or I collected them too early. Too bad. I will have to buy my beans yet again for 2008.
A few weeks ago, when cleaning out the clump of iris next to where the beans grow, I found lots of pods. They were all dried out, and ready to go, nature having done her thing. So I collected a goodly number and scratching in the early spring dirt, I buried the beans under a half-inch or so of soil.
While many plants struggle in this zone, at this altitude, these little guys thrive, crossbreeding and seeding out eagerly. I have intentionally planted only black violas, and orange ones in my yard, and only black ones in the areas where these photos were taken. In years past, I have had the bi-color ones creep into my yard from neighboring places. From these varieties, this is what I have this year.
Sometimes I have blooms well into very cold weather, and most often, johnny jump-ups are the first color I have in the spring. They are more common wildflowers than ‘real’ gardening plants, and I can get a bit blasé about them.
Then I see a cheerful little ‘forest’ of them, and remember what a gift they are…a free gift, but still a gift.
Johnny-Jump-Up Viola cornuta (Violaceae) A compact annual or short-lived perennial, native to Spain and the Pyrenees Mountains. This variety has been used extensively in floral gardens and has escaped from cultivation to roadsides, fields and waste areas throughout much of the United States. The vibrant blooms are deep purple and yellow, creating a solid carpet of color for weeks. Prefers partial shade to full sun in rich, well-drained soil. (from aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu)
P.S. On my bike ride to work today, I saw a fox. On the way home, two woodpeckers!
There is knitting tonight. With the Alison’s Scarf complete, I have been back on the socks with the loops of magickness! I have a dishcloth on the needles (always). I have started knitting my first handspun into a scarf, but think the pattern isn’t working. I have another pattern I think will do better, and intend to frog and restart. I will be following the Wendy Scarf pattern from the pattern-a-day calendar. I am also dying to cast on the baby surprise jacket by Elizabeth Zimmerman. Dying, I say! (Cast on as of knitting tonight.)
Knitting, spinning, gardening, and birthday cards to make. My life is full.
All that, and at work, we have started our annual exercise-a-thon. We are cast into teams, and set loose to rack up minutes in exertive activity. Now, I work with some that make fitness a serious lifestyle. I am talking running miles, biking miles…MANY MILES…daily! And I work with some that haven’t seen the distant side of 30, and if they have, they are much closer to 30 than to 40. Then there are a few, very few, of us circling around the half century (and beyond) mark. Over half the employees participate in this, and over a 6 week span, average hours exercised by teams run about 10-12 per week per person. Do the math. That’s a lot of competitiveness. That’s a lot of keeping up with the youngsters!
I can get an hour and a half in easily when I ride my bike to work, and I typically work on the stationary bike in the morning 30 minutes anyway. I just boost that time up to 45 minutes when I don’t ride. If weather/time permits, a walk with Best Dog Ever after work can help, but it’s tough to get more exercise than that in. Hikes on the weekend add time to the total, but leave other chores undone!
If only I could count spinning…
I found this tonight on my return home. Oh yeah!
Smack in between Mother's Day and my birthday. Life is good.
Dearest Sister....any ideas on the name of this old friend?
The Alison's Scarf is off the needles (of iron), blocked, and photographed.
And while the camera was out, here are my hand carders, purchased from craiglist. Try it! You'll like it!
I had fun day with breakfast with the Grandbebe Girl and her parents. Then a trip to two (TWO!) nurseries, where Youngest Daughter and I split some 'buy one get one free' coupons. That was tremendous fun. She and her family bought me a new rose bush for Mother's Day.
Wonderful Guy and I went up the mountain and walked around Lake Estes with Best Dog Ever. On our way home, we stopped for ice cream.
This clump will be gorgeous in bloom. I have color showing on one of the tall buds. Depending on how warm the days, and how cold the nights, I am betting a couple more days. I may have a tall bearded in bloom for my birthday!
My bleeding heart was a birthday gift from a friend a couple of years ago. I had a pink one, too, but it did not make it through a transplant. It was very sad.
These little speckled violets hitched a ride when a neighbor gave me some lavendar. The lavendar no longer survives but the violets are seeding out vigorously. The stones behind the violets are from St. Louis, Missouri. An old friend happened to be where the city was digging up the old cobblestones from under street pavement down by the Mississippi river. He threw as many as he could in the back of his pickup, and I got a few. They make some fun edging.
I have some regulation 'violet' violets, too.
My solomon's seal looks better this year than it has since I brought it to live here from my old house.
And I have corn flower that has seeded out, too. These blooms are the color of my daughter's eyes. Yes they are!
While working in the yard a bit this morning, I was given to some pondering. Wonderful Guy and I are approaching our 5th anniversary. When we were debating his house or mine, one issue was leaving my yard. While it wasn't perfect, I had alot of sweat equity in it. Wonderful Guy's yard had great grass. He offered me this phrase, and I quote, 'you will have a fresh palette.' The yard factor was outweighed by many others, so I moved to this house.
That first spring, after barely completing my move, we decided where we wanted new beds. I was cautious as I knew how he had worked to get his lawn in. He never flinched, though, and marking out the new beds, he started killing grass. We transplanted some of my favorites from the old house (all the iris!), bought some new, collected others from different sources. And over time, we have enlarged beds (even today killing more grass for another expansion!), hauled mulch, divided iris, and revamped the sprinkler system. And I discovered how to grow tomatoes in my zone without pampering! Some plants have thrived, others are memories, and still others I keep buying and planting against all odds and hope for this zone.
So that brings me to today, walking around and thinking. I thought about how Wonderful Guy has just let me do my thing, how he has supported me in whatever I wanted to try, and how he has encouraged me to break out of my old thinking at times. The yard has been a joy for both of us to work in together, and while he might prefer some tasks done differently for ease and less doing over, wonderful guy that he is, he does it my way. (For example, I demand the use of mulch, and abhor the use of decorative rocks, so every other year, we replace the mulch that often blows away.) Just another one of the ever so many special ways that we truly bring out the best in each other...as long as he doesn't get it in his mind to weed, thin, or 'neaten' things up!
Most of the beds are now 3-5 years old, and for perennial beds, that means they have taken on a bit of personality. I realize again how the way I garden is a journey into the future. What I am doing this year won't really be seen in completion for a couple of years down the road. Mostly I don't do a lot of planning, either. My yard just sort of happens, with some educated guesses based on experience and knowledge. Some areas have turned out beyond my expectations, and that has been alot of fun. Some are still developing. And that's okay, too. My yard and gardening experience is one where I enjoy creativity, a closeness with nature and my higher power, and gain such a sense of peace and contentment.
I am thankful that I have the opportunity to sink into the reward I recieve from this creative outlet.
And I am very thankful today for the support and help and love of the fantastic gardening partner I have in Wonderful Guy.