Sunday, June 29, 2008

Beginning and Ending

There you have it. It is the beginning of a sock at the end of an air show.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Socks and Seeds

TestSockProgressSocknitting has been my near constant companion this week. This is how it looked Monday night. The color in this photo is close, but does not quite show how beautiful it is. I am doing a toe-up Spring Forward. I am most the way up the leg. I think I will work one more pattern repeat before I am on to the cuff. I know Cara is getting anxious to see more progress on these test socks. I hope to have them finished by the end of the weekend, but I am not making any promises.

For this week's Friday garden report, I present the beginning of a cucumber. Impressive, no? We put out many more (fifty-ish?) corn seeds, peas, and an Ichiban Eggplant. We also managed to lose a package of pea seeds. I bought my husband a tumbling compost bin for his birthday. He wanted one back when he did a lot of gardening. I was excited to get this for him. Exciting things are happening inside the bin.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Making Life Easier

Ten Inventions That Have Made Life Easier

1. Refrigerator
2. Indoor Plumbing
3. Air Conditioning
4. Automocar
5. Washing Machine
6. Computer
7. Telephone
8. Microwave
9. Automatic Dishwasher
10. Water Heater

Monday, June 23, 2008

Monday Meme

Cara tagged me. Although she offered to take the bad luck, guilt, dropped stitches, and foot odor she imagines accompany not making the required post, I have decided to play along.
  1. Link the person who tagged you.
  2. Mention the rules in your blog.
  3. Tell about 6 fun quirks about yourself.
  4. Tag 6 fellow bloggers by linking them.
  5. Leave a comment on each of the tagged blogger’s blogs letting them know they’ve been tagged.
1. I do not like sand


That is all you get. It was a bit more difficult than I had anticipated. I guess these memes are not much my thing. tag or not to tag, eh? Nah. Instead, take a glimpse into what it took to sort out Cara's yarn.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Required Report

Norma says that Fridays Are Garden-Along Reporting Days, and who am I to refuse? This week we have a new garden hose attachment because the last one leaked. We got new plants and sowed seeds. The 'yummy' orange petite sweet bell pepper plants look like they are going to make it. It was iffy for a while. In addition to the orange, we have a new red bell pepper plant. We got a new okra plant and thinned out the other okra spots. There is also a hot banana pepper plant and eggplant new to the garden this week. These are from my sister. She lamented that we should have planted the garden at our house. My husband stated that it is about a fifty-mile round trip for watering and weeding. She said she could water, but was not too thrilled about the idea of weeding. Also, she did not know that watering would be more than a once-a-day event. I think by the end of that conversation she knew that it is good the garden is here. However, if all goes well, she may put in her own garden next year. Besides, we see each other at least twice a week, so she will be in on the harvest. Buying things for the garden gets you in on that. My nephew tried chewing on a mint leave he picked from the plant. He decided that perhaps he would like it when he is older. This is progress for him in so many ways.

Now we get to the seed news. The corn seeds have sprouted! That was most exciting. I went out just after midnight to inspect the garden when I discovered the green bits. I also spotted the first tomato bloom of the year. I had an accident with my lavender. I dumped the pot over. It is unhappy, but will probably be OK. I want to be successful with lavender. Maybe the lavender seeds I planted will grow into something wonderful, too. We still have more corn seeds and radish and turnip seeds, but the last two will not go in until July and August.

Somebody's birthday brings another goody for the garden, but that will have to wait for next Friday.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

If Ten Turns to Twenty

It can easily turn to thirty. That is what happened when I took the wheel outside. I grabbed a folding chair, a yoga mat, and spent a nice time outside spinning. The weather was perfect. I thought that I would only have about ten minutes before this changed, but it just kept with the lovely. Neighbors stared, and I did not care. I only had to get up once when a stray cat was about to do something horrible to a squash plant. Before I knew it, a half hour had passed and it was wonderful.

I have been enjoying the ten-minute a day spinning challenge. Tamara commented to me that it would not work for her. I understand that this is not a good plan for everyone. However, she also hit on a key component for making this work. I must choose ten quality minutes. Any ol' ten will not do. I can grab just about any ten to do a little ab work or dishes or straightening our home. This is not the case with spinning. I must get in the right frame of mind and free myself from distractions. It reminds me of conversations I have with someone in which I urge her to take care of herself everyday, even if it is just for ten minutes. Making the time to spin means I am taking the time to care for myself, re-focus, and relax. So often, I put things off for later. I wait for the right time instead of changing things to work for me. Through the spinning challenge, I am also building a new skill. I am improving my ability to stop and bring myself to calm.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Sweet Honeybee of Infinity!

I nearly missed out on setting my summer knitting goals and entering this contest. Other matters have occupied my heart and mind. In such times, it is often helpful to push forward, lest I find myself buried and stuck. Perhaps it is with this in mind that I set these ambitious summer knitting goals.

1. Finish EPS FIYC.
I am sure it is further along than I think, but I do know it has spent a long time on the needles and deserves to be finished.

2. Finish Icarus.
Those rows get so long, but it is lovely lace.

3. Finish test yarn socks.
This will be easy once I settle on the pattern.

Knit baby sweater and mail it
I added the last part in hopes that there is not some baby shower lurking around the corner and I will need to knit quickly.

5. Knit from handspun.
It does not much matter what I knit. It could be a swatchy bit from some small amount of something I have spun, or it could be a grand project. I just know that with the ten minutes a day thing I will definitely have something with which to knit.

6. Explore at least one sockitecture from the Cat Bordhi book.
It really does seem like a neat book, and I want to get to know it better.

7. Start new lace.
I suppose I could fold this into another one of the goals, but I probably will not, unless it is the handspun.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Happy WWKIP Day!

How was your WWKIP Day? Mine has been fabulous. Weather moved us from the proposed park location to Starbucks. Woo-hoo for coffee and air conditioning!
I got some new yarn to test knit socks.

Someone learned that he does like to knit.

In fact, he knit his first scarf.

Someone else paid serious attention to a complicated baby blanket.

No, these are not all my drinks, but I am the dyer of the test yarn.

Starbucks brought us over a fabulous French Press of Tastiness and a plate of coffee cake bits. I drank most of the coffee. There was one small problem.There were others in attendance, but not all of the pictures I took were flattering. I need to improve my photographic skills. It was a great day, and I even managed to knit a few rows.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Take Ten

I have missed spinning. I think I am ready to return to it. When I saw this over at Carole's, I knew it was for me. I'm getting back to spinning, ten minutes a day. Time to grab Kiwi, oil, and fiber. I am going to have ten lovely minutes.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Back from the 'ham

A trip to the Birmingham VA Medical Center takes a lot out of us. June is shaping up to be a BVAMC-heavy month. We went the third, the tenth, and have an optional event on the twenty-third. Generally, a trip to the BVAMC is an all-day endeavor. It starts the night before when we usually have difficulty sleeping. Then there is the drive. For some reason, the trip home seems much longer. Anyway, the appointment on the third went well. We were able to take care of the scheduled business as well as two other matters. Besides the car ride, I did not have much time to knit. They were just running that smoothly.

The tenth was a little different. We will begin with a positive. The coffee shop on the ground level, which proudly serves Starbucks learned something new. They learned that when I ask for a nonfat, iced, caramel macchiato, it is not necessary to steam the milk. Ah, but the application of the caramel sauce still needs a bit of work.

Anyway, I needed the big caffeine drink because I had to drive us home. My sweetheart had a rough visit. We arrived on time and he was called back almost immediately. He was back out to the waiting room sooner than I had anticipated.
There was a problem. Do you see the letter beneath my coffee and knitting? Here, let me give you a closer look. He had been through the preparatory phase for this procedure. The orders were for a different one. Not upper, but lower, and not swallow but.... Yeah. They did not know if they could proceed with the ordered test, as he had not been through a preparation that is more thorough. They took a quick scan and we waited. They were pretty sure we would need to re-schedule. We did quite well to stay calm. I began a mental checklist of people to speak with to straighten things out if we had to come back another day. That is one of the tricks of the VA--finding the right person. Anyway, after an hour we went back to the reception desk. After a phone call from the clerk and a few more minutes, someone called my husband's name. It was a go for the procedure. I got in some nice knitting while I waited. He looked rugged when they were through with him. I felt so sorry for him. It was time for him to eat, a short wait, and then we could go.

It was a long day for me, but it was much longer for him. Still, I managed to mess up my knitting. The Pi Shawl you see in the picture is being frogged. Also, it would seem that many people do not know what a shawl is. When they asked what I was knitting and I told them what it was, they looked like I sprouted a third ear from my forehead. One person finally understood after some explaining. Another walked off in confusion. Anyway, somehow I turned my yarn into a tangled mess. Ugh! I want to get this back on track for WWKIP Day on Saturday.

Friday, June 06, 2008

We Hereby Claim This Land

There is hot, gardening action over here. We have taken over a little bit of land next to us and are growing good food. We are a curiosity to our neighbors. Of course, that was true even before the undertaking of this latest endeavor. Anyway, one woman is quite interested in just what we are growing and says she is going to raid our garden. She just might be serious. I do hope the harvest is plentiful enough for us to be able to share with family, friends, and neighbors. I am not much of a gardener, so I am following the direction of my husband on much of this. Still, I was upfront about the amount of time and effort I am prepared to dedicate to the project. He has grand visions of our garden, and I am not up for the challenge of all that he would like to do. Neither is he. I think we are getting close to overdoing it. Tonight I will drift off to sleep with dreams of swapping the ever-elusive okra for yarn. Oh no! Now we both have gardening related delusions.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Changing World

Ten Ways the World Has Changed Since You've Been in School

Cell Phones
Digital Cameras
Fuel Prices
Digital Music
24-hour News Channels
Caller ID