Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Where are the Strawberries?

Wait, those aren't strawberries... Posted by Picasa

I have a 4 x 8 foot raised bed of strawberries that has been producing well the past few years. That's why I decided not to plant them in my "strawberry" pot. I've seen these pots used for herb gardens, but I noticed someone (sorry, don't remember who) planting hens and chickens in them and loved the idea. These poor plants get little water and no attention, yet they do well and I think they look pretty. If you like, you can tuck a few small flowering plants in as well. I think next year I'll try Johnny Jump Ups.

Monday, November 14, 2005

What Kind Of Yarn Are You?

I took the quiz and look how I ended up--dishcloth yarn! While I realize that perhaps I'm not the most exciting personality type, I hardly think that I'm this dull! Oh well, I must accept the results and move on. Take the quiz yourself and find out if you fare any better.

You are dishcloth cotton.
You are Dishcloth Cotton.
You are a very hard worker, most at home when
you're at home. You are thrifty and seemingly
born to clean. You are considered to be a Plain
Jane, but you are too practical to notice.

What kind of yarn are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Autumn in the Garden

Ahhh, Autumn in the Garden... Posted by Picasa

Well it's a wonderful, stormy day here in our part of the Pacific Northwest. It's breezy and a fine rain is hammering at the windowpanes. The leaves that remain on the trees are all red, gold, and russet, and are drifting down and landing on the green grass. It's a lovely picture and a day worthy of hunkering down in front of the fire with a glass of something warm to drink and a great book.

Bumper Crop of Kiwis! Posted by Picasa

We had a great crop of kiwi fruit this year. I was afraid that they wouldn't amount to much with our water shortage, but they look good and there are lots of them. I'll pick them this weekend and bring them indoors to ripen. Before we knew better, we tossed them all out because we didn't realize that they needed to ripen inside. Ugh, what a waste! Well, we know better now. So, we have a bit more to do to put the garden to bed for the winter, but the cover crop is sown in the veggie garden, the pots are all put away, the compost pile has been growing, and it's time to stop working and start planning for next year!

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

I've been knitting!

My first try at knitting lace! Posted by Picasa

This is the "Branching Out" scarf that I started for the Knitting the Classics knitalong. It was supposed to have been done this summer, but the garden called and the knitting was laid aside. Now that the autumn is here, I've been called back to my knitting and have been having a wonderful time. Although this pattern isn't difficult, my short-term memory seems to be lacking lately, so it took awhile for me to catch on to it. I made a lot of mistakes, but the pattern is pretty forgiving, and only a real pro would be able to find them (I hope!)

"Fingerless Mitts" glove.  Posted by Picasa

I also decided to try a free pattern that my local yarn shop gave me. I bought some lovely Catalina Chunky Lavendar Baby Alpaca to use. They turned out well for a first try. Let's just say that they allow me to type at my volunteer office job. Normally this time of year the office is freezing and it's hard to do any typing. These let me keep my hands warm and still have use of my fingers for office work. A nice solution for working with nonprofits who are budget challenged!

Eli is pretty stressed out from chasing all the knitting yarn... Posted by Picasa

He's recovering in front of the fireplace. It's a shame his life is so difficult.

Monday, November 07, 2005

"E" is for Eli...

We succombed a few months ago to getting a new cat. Our old cat, Sophie, (who was a psycho, but we loved her) died a few years ago. Ever since then, I've missed having a little cat sit on my lap in the evenings. I volunteer one day a week at a local animal shelter in the cat room, so I see a lot of cats come through. While I like all of them, most never get to me enough to want to take them home. However, one cat, a young orange tabby, had been quite sick for awhile and was scheduled to be euthinized. He was such a sweetie, that I just couldn't stand the thought, so after a lot of discussion, my husband caved in and we brought him home. Him being "Eli". Well, he recovered quite quickly once he was out of the shelter. [NOTE: Animals--cats especially--do not do well in shelter situations. They get sick easily due to the stress of being there and do not recover, often getting sick over and over again until they are put down. Please consider rescuing one of these animals. They will repay you with loads of love in the future.]

Eli has been a lot of fun, but we did forget what it's like having a young cat around. He's kept us on our toes. His favorite way to get our attention was to creep up to the six-foot silk ficus tree in our bedroom at 3:00a.m. and pull it over on top of us--not a good way to wake up in the early hours! We have since tied it to the wall with fishing line, and that seems to have done the trick. Eli is now going outside in our backyard under some supervision. We had planned on him being an inside cat, but he is definately happier roaming the garden. (And he does look lovely sitting outside under a tree...) He'll make a lovely garden ornament!!

Sunday, November 06, 2005

It's been awhile...

I have been so busy over the summer that I haven't posted in awhile. But now that things have slowed down a bit, I'm back. We went camping last memorial day. The campground was a lovely place in the San Juans and we were looking forward to a great weekend. Unfortunately, so was everyone else. You know it's going to be busy when you camp at a state campground. But we seem to always end up next to the large group whose sole intent is to drink and yell late into the night. Both nights, different groups of inconsiderate people. Add that to the sloping site and having to fight to keep from rolling downhill in your sleeping bag, and it doesn't make for much fun. We found a real estate magazine and started dreaming about a little private spot of our own where we could relax, get away from it all, and enjoy the beauty of nature.

Well, we found what we were looking for on the first day. It's a little, tiny lot in a private, recreational community. Only RVs are allowed, and you can only live there 210 days a year, but it's got swimming pools, hot tubs, tennis, basketball, mini-golf, a clubhouse for organized functions, hiking trails, and a lovely lake stocked with trout twice a year. The great thing about it is that you can have as much privacy as you want. It's also a great base camp for all kinds of wonderful hikes, as well as visits to other, larger lakes.

 Posted by Picasa

Our place is a little 1973 travel trailer with a big covered porch, and a huge deck with a built-in fire pit, that looks out over the lake, and two beautiful mountains. It's quiet and least to us. We spent our first weekend there and to sit out on the deck and watch the hawks and ospreys soaring up to your eye level and then keep going until they're out of site, just takes your breath away.

The people we bought it from had it for 30 years. They are a charming Canadian couple who hail from Germany originally. The trailer is pristine and is like stepping back to 1973. We just love that. It's cozy, warm, and comfortable with running water, a shower, heat, elecricity, and "facilities". What a way to camp.