Harvested flowers, just after opening, per the official 'ways and means' of herbs, their growing and uses book (official title) (not really).
All laid out and drying, but not down in the cool and dark basement. Not just yet. Because they are just too pretty and fragrant...ooh, are they fragrant....
Here I am, getting all artsy, or as artsy as I get. And this is after the harvest. It was the best time to do this, cool in the morning, in the sunlight, and dry (I made Wonderful Guy leave the sprinklers off...I mean, seriously, with the rain we have been having?)
And then he decided a photo was needed of 'you with your lavender'. Again. After the harvesting. On my left? There is another lavender plant, and it has propagated itself a couple of other places, too.
I have tried for years to get a good stand. I have tried different places with different sun exposures, different drainage, different towns, different states even. I think the front yard in FC, Colorado is working nicely.
While catching up in the yard after getting back, I trimmed my catnip…oh who I am kidding…I trimmed the kitty girls' catnip back. Usually I toss a few stems on the patio for their enjoyment and ditch the rest. This time it was primo gold. We are talking the good stuff. A fresh June crop, and I thought…you know, we are running a little low on the dried stuff in the house from way back when.
So I cut it back and laid the stalk/ branches/trimmed thingies on one of the pieces of patio furniture while I continued working.
Later that afternoon, I drug out my book on the ‘ways and means’ to harvest, dry, and use one’s own herbs (official title). I laid the catnip on the patio, sat down, and start stripping the leaves off the stalks, as best I could tell I was directed to do.
Oh. The kittie girls were so interested. They came over to where I sat. They smelled the catnip. They rubbed the catnip. They crawled up on the pile of leaves (on opposite sides, of course). The girls stretched out, drooled a bit, and settled in for the haul, which was a long one, because my catnip has proven durable in the northern Colorado climate, and seeded out in several places.
I have a lot of catnip.
Now it is drying in a cool dark place…the table in the basement. So far as I know, the girls haven’t found it yet. So far as I know.
Now I am charged up. I do believe I am going after my lavender next. Maybe in the morning, after things have dried out. I am feeling like a farmer!
After a full week back at work…after some vaycay…but first the family business…and before that the med stuff…Memorial Day (which wasn’t my fault!)…well anyway...a full week in quite a while.
I have to say how I am loving my new old job. Still.
The productiveness, the challenge, the people, the atmosphere…it’s all good. Getting my confidence back, and feeling like a chemist again, like I know a little bit, like I can contribute, like I am learning again! That’s a really good part, too.
Especially the getting paid part. Seriously.
Stay tuned to see what the next month brings.
Will it be more of the same? May very well be…
Will she get to be a real employee? Wouldn’t that be something…but we are under no illusions. ‘Real’ employees get laid off…or not paid…security is fiction...
Will she become Wonderful Guy’s kept woman? Well, now, wouldn’t that be something.
I am just really enjoying for however long it lasts.
Another really fun part? I don’t think any of them know my secret identity as the blogger Iron Needles! Haha! I can talk about them! And they won’t know!
I did find out there is another knitter lurking about.
I believe I have managed to pay the maximum out of pocket expense on two different insurance policies this year.
And the year is just almost half over. So yeah...
Better than having no insurance, I know. Really I do.
I am trying to think of something I might need to have fixed since the rest of the year is essentially a freebie, now.
The Offspring read, and so do the Sibs, so I will take this opportunity to tell them that hearing tests/aids are not part of our coverage, so don't get your hopes up. I am still going to be asking you to repeat yourself, or just pretending to understand what you said....
Today was 'Ride Your Bike To Work Day' or something named like that. I did, but had planned to anyway. Mostly for me it meant the trails/streets were crowded, but there were stations set up for which to bribe the masses with food/drink/other freebies. Mostly I noticed the detours because of high water. I ride the Spring Creek Trail and Spring Creek is full of the run off of late.
It's funny. At my old old work, we had a room where all the bikes got parked...sort of a 'bike day care'. At my new old work, we park in our cubes. Seriously. We have double wides. But they still sort of stick out. So there were all these bike tires sticking out when one glances up cubeland 'halls'.
Only in my town...nothing is thought of the parking of bikes in a cube at work...
I manage to stop at three yarn shops on our recent trip, one in Pagosa Springs, in Telluride, and in Durango. We drove by the one in Bayfield but it was closed. We happened by the one in Delores as she was locking up.
I told Wonderful Guy she probably would have opened back up if I told her I had wool market money burning a hole in my pocket!
So I had good experiences at all, with kind and friendly proprietors (or help, at least). In Pagoso Springs, I purchased linen yarn, thinking of knitting some potpourri sachets baggie thingeys.
In Telluride, I decided I didn't need more alpaca, but instead needed another basket. (Everyone who has knows me in real life is now laughing...or rolling eyes...)
In Durango, I bought an Interweave Knits. Not even a new issue, but geez o peez. I really don't need any more yarn and just wasn't swept off my feet.
Now this doesn't mean the linen/cotton was all the stash enhancement I experienced. Wisest Sister bestowed upon Dearest and I some dishcloth cotton. And Dearest had no room to spare, as she was flying, so her choice (first, I might add!) came home with me.
I also found some other fun souvenirs. Look at what I purchased in Mesa Verde!
I bet I am dyeing in 12 months...all natural ingredients, real recipes, all good stuff. And some I bet I have in my back yard.
Wonderful Guy purchased this rhodochrosite in Ouray...we sort of have a gem hunk curio cabinet...
This I chose in Durango. It is for little blooms, and looks perfect all filled with pansies and jupiter's beard, and honeysuckle, and such.
Real old puebloan pottery shards. I think they look cool, and remind me of Mesa Verda.
I mentioned a few posts ago about the great wildflowers we saw on our vacation.
One the road to the Weatherill Mesa, our second day at Mesa Verde, we saw a stand of wild iris. As one might imagine, I get all a-shiver to see free range iris...as it were. Didn't get a photo, though. We were on our way to the Ranger led tour, and didn't want to tarry.
Then, on our way 'home', back to the room, on the road we had traveled at least four, five, maybe six times, I saw a ditch full of the same! And I focused...I saw more...and more, and more! There were fields of them! It was crazy, I tell you. The numbers, and the fact that I hadn't noticed them until then!
Yep. Nary a photo....
But I offer these instead.
With my own interpretation of what they are...
a penstemon...with an ancenstral puebloan wall backdrop
a stunning display of globe mallow at Far View Site...
mules-ears...I think...or wyethia...
an orange penstemon that I thought was scarlet gilia all week...with yucca...
After another trip to Mesa Verde (and the other, lesser traveled, side of the park), we are now home.
It was a long time away from the homestead with the trip for my brother-in-laws memorial back to back with the vacation. The critters are happy indeed to see us, and requiring attention. The yard is a bit overgrown and requires attention.
And I have a quilt that needs quilting.
Speaking of handwork. I knitted while traveling, and not just dishclothes! I worked on two bebe....thingies. Photos may follow. Some will be able to guess, I bet.
Anyway. I also worked on a Baby Surprise Jacket. I have knit one before for Grandbebe Girl, and made an error in how the decreases were counted. Had to frog it all after about 20 ridges. Oh well. Lesson learned. The jacket turned out wonderfully and she wore it (wears it) lots. So I started this one, believing I knew how to do it. I had my pattern, my print outs, and the directions showing me how to add the cuffs and collar.
Ready. Set . Go. And rip it out after about 20 ridges for the very same reason. Lesson NOT learned just yet.
Not restarted this one just yet for Grandbebe Bean. I have beaucoup de quilting to get done. But I do have Baby Surprises planned for both new babies in the year old sizes. Maybe on the next one that I have planned for Grandbebe Opal....I will not falsely start in such a fashion!
Wonderful Guy and I took a cruise up the 'million dollar highway' to go see Silverton, Ouray, and Telluride.
Well, really we had seen Silverton a couple years ago when we rode the Durango/Silverton train. So we took a photo, took a powder, bought some powder sugar donuts and coffee, and traveled on.
One might ask why it is called the million dollar highway. That is in dispute. One view is that is how much it cost to build. Another is that there is that much ore in the fill dirt (mining country, you know!). I personally believe it is for the million dollar views.
So we stopped in Ouray, which has a great Main Street full of historical store front buildings, and a fun sense of it's own history.
Then we traveled on to Telluride, which was preparing for it's yearly Blue Grass Festival, and the Festivideans were already showing up. And some were very free spirits. Made freer by the altitude. And other things, I am sure.
However, there is a very nice yarn shop in Telluride. With a lovely proprietor, who was very friendly, and sells some local alpaca product, some skiens carrying the photos of the animal from which the fleece comes. I did not buy any, as I have plenty of alpaca at home waiting to be knit. But I did buy a really fun hand woven basket. (I needed another basket.) More about my yarn shop stops next....
We are headed back to Mesa Verde today for some more hiking, and Wonderful Guy is waiting...I hope patiently.
Yesterday at the Sand Dunes, Wonderful Guy climbed to the top of the first ridge. I did not. While I am feeling much, much better (I am hardly discolored with bruising from my procedure at all! And not achey, only itchy now, which we all know and realize is the true sign of healing!), I was still punked after the first few climbing-over-the-first-dunes efforts. So anyway. He continued, and I basked in the view.
Which was just fine in it's own right.
Really not the Sahara...
While he was trekking, up and up and up, he happened upon another fellow who struck up a conversation about fitness and effort and altitude and breathing, all that sort of thing...as flatlanders are wont to do...in between gasps. He was from Georgia, on vacation, showing his kids the sights of America on his way to Yellowstone. Lucky, lucky kids. Said he came across Kansas ‘now those wheat fields…they were something’, where upon Wonderful Guy commented his view would be appreciated by his wife as she (me) was from Greensburg, and appreciated the beauty of those fields of golden waves of grain (not his exact words) (Wonderful Guy doesn't wax poetic that way). Well. This Georgian? He was there, in Greensburg, the day before!
We are off to Mesa Verde today. Going to climb among the ancients and hopefully not get rained out this time.
One more thing. We think we are in the exact same room as the last time we stayed here.
For the second time this week, my blooms were shredded by hail. Crazy.
As in crazy weather. Every afternoon this week! Been a good week to not be able physically to ride Trekkie, the Bike, as the weather hasn't been amenable.
I am, after all, a fair weather rider.
We are taking off tomorrow to travel east to be with my sister. Day after the services, we will travel back west for some vacation.
I surely do need some time to re-gather myself. I have more and better tools with which to deal with what life hands me now, and yet, what life hands us is still what life hands us. If I say it doesn't matter, or play it down, I believe I am fooling myself.
It matters. I choose to deal with life how it needs to be dealt, without undue drama, without denial. With self-honestly about feelings, and self-reflection about those feelings, and self-accountability for those feelings.
I am glad I am going to see my family.
Sure am sorry I am going to miss the wool market. Seriously don't think I am in any danger of running out...of fleece....or roving...or yarn....before next year's though.
Wonderful Guy and I planned a vacation in southwest Colorado for next week. We are going to play tourists. We have spent a short time there in the fall, having ridden the Durango-Silverton train. For those familiar with the mountains, this time of year will bring a different experience.
Life hands us opportunities.
I had a 'small procedure' last Friday, which is only a relative term, in my opinion! (Like...it wasn't open heart surgery, but still....) I am fine (pretty sure) and recovering (mostly...the healing shades of yellow have taken over), but it takes time and, more to the point, is slower than I like (what is new?). Having energy after work to think, much less, pack, is like pulling nails. Each day brings progress.
Yesterday we heard the news that my brother-in-law passed away. While it was not unexpected, I am very saddened for Wisest Sister. They were a Match, and she will miss him deeply. So it is necessary to make those plans, now. I am so grateful to Wonderful Guy. After calling him, and the Daughters Three, with the initial news, I didn't know what to do. Then he called me back and told me what he had done.
What a guy. One might say, a Wonderful Guy.
My new old job? The one without paid time off? When I took it, I made sure my new old boss was aware of the days off we had planned for the family reunion, the vaycay, the time in Breckinridge in July...then add the time off for the medical tests, the surgery, now the bereavement time. Plus the holidays (not in my control!) My initial 'contract' is for 15 weeks, and of those? I will have worked about 3 full forty hour weeks. There is a lesson here. I am not sure what it is.
The recent posts of lovely blooms were all taken and posted in advance with bloggers handy dandy tool. Which was nice, because Sunday nary a one was left. We had bloom shredding hail(but not as bad as car denting hail). I have been so off, I haven't deadheaded, or taken photos of the newly opened buds. (Thanks for all the comments.) (PS I bought seven more rhizomes from a local purveyor about 10 days ago!)
On a positive note, since my last trip, all I have done, knit-wise, is seam dishclothes. That means all my travel knitting plans from the Kansas trip are pretty much still in place. That is one less thing to think about. Sweet. I need all the help I can get.
No Estes Park Wool Market for me this year. And since I have quilting galore, and sewing to the max for les meres expectante, I think I am going to pass on le tour de fleece, as well.
So. There is my update. I look forward to seeing the family again, as always, no matter the circumstances. We are like that. We like each other. What can I say?
And, Wisest Sister, sending peaceful thoughts and strength your way. Love you lots, and see you soon.
I am late in posting these bloomers. (Whenever I write 'bloomers', I think of the term my great-aunt used for her under-drawers! Haha. I said bloomers!)
Seems my life has taken on different pace of late. Fortunately I have learned, or begun to learn, that the best thing for me to do in such situations is adapt to what life hands me. Fighting life is an upstream swim. Going with the flow is a much healthier, more serene lifestyle for me.
Only took me about 50 years to figure that out. With age...sometimes comes wisdom.
So. Back to some eye candy...horticulture style.
This is one that for one reason or another I have had puny bloomage before. Not so this year. These are the blooms in the top photo on the left. And I don't remember the name.
And this one I know that name of...just not right now...
This might be Lion's Share...or it might not be....
I think this is something like Unicorn's Horn
This might be another Horace, but if it is, it means I was totally lax in my sorting and replanting.
And my mother's day gift from Wonderful Guy last year, a lovely iris siberica (I am pretty sure, but lost the tag...)
I know. I am hopeless. And useless for decent information.