Wednesday, July 8, 2020

The Garden

I am quite liberal with the garden pictures these days. There's a reason for that. The garden is something that keeps me going.

There's growth in the garden. There's change. 

New things emerge daily. Nothing is stagnant. 

There's a feeling of fluidity.  Purpose.

Plants have motivation. There is no status quo.  Things change. Things bloom. Things grow.

There's beauty without vanity. 

Diversity without judgement.

The only conflict that I see are the weeds trying to take over the soil.

The garden keeps me going. It makes the day less ordinary.  It's an anchor in an otherwise uncertain world. 

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Tuesday Ta-daah!

I finished a sock. I really like this yarn. I have no idea when/where I bought it. The colors are so pretty.

Another one is on the way.

Garden report:

Both kinds of tomatoes are coming along.

Echinacea and Black-Eyed Susan posed very nicely for me.

I'm hoping that this Butterfly Weed attracts some Monarchs this year.

This is Jolene. She is six years old. I have had many cats in my life. Growing up, we always had a cat. She is the only cat that I've ever known that holds a conversation with you. She enters a room. I say, "Hi, Jolene!" She meows a response. "Whatcha doin'?" "Meow." Every morning the husband goes into her room (yes, she has her own room) and says "Good Morning!" Jolene says, "Meow!" Mouthy kitty, she is. We love her.

Saturday, July 4, 2020

Happy Fourth!

It's July Fourth. No big professional bangs in the sky tonight, just neighborhood knock-offs bought in the states next to where we reside. We will be inside, watching TV no doubt. But I watched Hamilton this weekend, so I have a renewed love and hope for this country. I also plan on reading something out of one of my father's many books that I inherited. Something about this country that will make me feel pride in my country. 

Speaking of pride, I am quite proud of myself. I bought Disney+ this weekend because I wanted to watch Hamilton that bad. Also, I am married to a Disney freak who will make good use out of the Disney/Pixar library that it provides. I bought it on my laptop. I couldn't figure out how to get it on my TV once I bought it. My usual method of figuring something out goes like this: Confusion, frustration, *&%$#, tenacious attitude that I CAN do this, concentration......success! And that's what happened. 

My husband has a new toy....

I had bought him a cheaper drone for Christmas. It was fun, but quite wobbly. So, he upgraded to this. It's a fun toy and the camera quality is great. I can't wait to take it out to the park and video the Patapsco Valley in the fall with all of the leaves turning. Endless possibilities..

Reggie, on the other hand, treats it like the birds on the fence. He likes to jump up and try to eat it. 

I started a sock with some XXL sock yarn. 

Here's a little owl that sits on my fence. We bought it at a garden center that went out of business after many years. It seems my house if full of treasured things that were bought at places that no longer exist. Testament to the fact that times change. 

Have a wonderful Fourth of July, readers!

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

July Is Here

Here we are in July. The hot weather is prompting my tomatoes to grow. 

My basil got a trim tonight. 

I put it in my mini food processor with some olive oil, half a clove of garlic and a sprinkling of walnuts. I didn't have the traditional pine nuts. But any fatty nut will do. 

Presto! I've got pesto! I'll freeze it and put it them a ziplock bag. There's nothing like adding a cube of this to your tomato sauce when the weather turns cold. Summer all over again.  I harvest  this throughout the Summer, adding to the bag until I have enough to use all winter long. Soups, sauces, even by itself with some pasta and grated parmesan. It's devine.

Our squirrels are happily eating the peanuts that the husband puts on the fence. Reggie is not pleased with the squirrel's dining area. He tries to get to them, but the fence is too high.

Here are my grandmother's chickens. They sit atop my buffet. They used to reside in her kitchen when I was growing up. I spent lots of time on the Eastern shore of Maryland at my grandmother's. Many, many Summers. More on that another day. I am glad that I ended up with her chickens.

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

A Happy Diversion

Watching the news makes me anxious.  I miss going out to a restaurant with my husband.  It's been almost a year since I've seen my grandchildren. I am letting negativity get to me. I am working on this. So let's go happy today!

I bought a bunch of bulbs and tubers online in March to plant in pots. Elephant Ear, Canna Lily and a Turmeric plant. I liked the way that the Turmeric flower looked. Almost like a Bromeliad. It sprouted in April and grew. I had forgotten what the actual plant looked like, so I just assumed that the tall plant was the turmeric plant. 

Hmmmm....looks a lot like a sunflower, doesn't it?  Yeah. It's a sunflower. Who knows what happened to the turmeric. But that's ok! It's going to look happy and sunny on the patio! And it has a resident! He's been hanging out by the blossom for 2 days now.

Baby mantis. 

Here's a link to the turmeric that was supposed to grow..

Anyhow, on to other happiness. I was on Reddit this morning, trying to avoid the news and politics. At the top of the feed, there's always a question that someone poses. Today it was "What are some VERY comforting facts?"  I urge you to go on there and read the comments all the way to the left. People have posted things like, "All of Mr. Rogers' sweaters that he wore on air were knitted by his mother." "Otters hold hands when they sleep so that they don't lose their partner" They are uplifting and comforting, for sure

If my Reggie doesn't make you happy, nothing will.

Here's hoping that you find some happiness today! Leave something in the comments showing what made you happy today!

Monday, June 29, 2020

A Monday Full of Wool

I finished another pair of socks. I was playing yarn chicken with some leftover sport weight yarn from a cowl that I made for a Christmas gift. This yarn is hand-painted and has sparkly strands of silver running through it. I couldn't just let the yarn sit there unused, so I decided that I'd chance it and make some socks.

At about this point, I knew that my game of chicken was a losing one.

When all that I had left was this little tangled piece, I gave up and went through the stash to find a substitute for the remainder of the sock. I figured that I could use this little bit and finish up the toe with the it.

I found another blue fingering weight yarn with a little sparkle in my stash. I doubled it up, and voila. The socks are finished with a little "design element" thrown in.

It's so hard to show sparkly yarn in a photo. Here's the best that I can do...

See the silver strands?

On the gardening front, I have finally gotten a tomato growing! 

Actually, there are two. Can't wait to have home grown tomatoes!

In other news, I found two skeins of yarn that I tried to put on the swift. I soon found out that they were in several pieces. Yup. Apparently, moths have gotten to some of my yarn. I inspected all of the yarn on my shelves. I threw away 3 skeins. I then proceeded to BAKE about 75 skeins of sock yarn(about 15 skeins at a time on 2 cookie sheets) at 170° F for about an 45-50 minutes. This kills any existing larvae. Then I cooled them, organized them by color and weight and put them in ziplock bags and labeled them. This took me all day.

This is not all of the yarn that I have. It is today's progress. All yarn that I used to have in the extra bedroom on display is going in bags, into under bed storage containers, and away from moths. This is  how I used to have some of my sock yarn stash:

All getting baked, all going in airtight bags. THEN I'm going to wash the area in white vinegar (it kills moths and larvae) and vacuum the heck out of the room. I also have baskets of yarn on the floor. They're going, too. It's quite an undertaking, but I can't gamble on losing any more yarn.

Here's a picture of my echinacea to get me back into a zen mode...

Now, I feel better.

Sunday, June 28, 2020

Sunday And Almost July

Where did the time go? I have been a neglectful blogger these days. The lure or Facebook and other social media was strong these past few weeks. I've been doing a lot of reading about current events, as well. What have I taken from that? It's not good for me to read so much about the state of things. Also, there are a lot of stupid people out there. Also, WEAR A MASK.

On to my last few weeks...

Plants are a-poppin' all over my yard.

I love elephant ears. They have a very calming effect when they sway in the breeze like a big sail. And when the sun shines through in the evening, they are a piece of art.

My basil came back strong from the cold weather in April. You all told me that it would. You were right. Thank you. 

The cucumber plant has given us three nice cucumbers so far. And by the look of all of the blossoms, it will continue. I see tzatziki in my future. 

Remember those little baby coleus that I planted in these hangers? They have grown. 

In order to satisfy my husband's addiction to everything walnuts, I made him these. I even substituted the vanilla in the cookie dough with walnut extract. He was a happy boy.

I finished my socks, and have started a new pair. here are the finished ones:

Hard to tell, but the heels and toes are sparkly yarn.  I like doing socks with a pattern. They go so much faster than a plain ribbed cuff. These were a lot of fun.

I've been going through my family pictures and documents. I've found a few really interesting things. Here's a picture of my grandmother and her dog.

Here are some ancestors...

I have TONS of these kind of pictures. Some are labeled on the back, but most are blank. If only these people were alive to see me going through these pictures and wondering who they are and how I'm related. 

Lots of pictures of rooms. The person who took it was proud of their abode, I'm sure. If only I knew whose house it was...

Anyway, I'm also on a mission to find information on an ancestor from the Union Army of the Civil War. I found a document given to him by the Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the U.S. It's an organization formed after the Civil War that gave honors to veterans. The one that I have is signed by Ruthorford B Hayes! I have reached out to family members to see if they know who he is, to no avail. People have vague remembrances of somebody that fought, but can't come up with a link to our family. I did find this:

And this:

I've reached out to a few archives people and someone from the organization (which still exists). I upped my subscription to and am still doing my research. To be continued...