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. Sooooo....today 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 Ancestry.com and am still doing my research. To be continued...

Thursday, June 11, 2020


It's been a few days. Here's some sock progress:

 I think I'm sold on this pattern. I want to knit it again, without such a busy yarn. The sparkly yarn for the heel blends nicely, though.  The little cabled V's make a nice pattern.

The plants around here are going crazy. The cucumber has grown to amazing heights and has baby cukes growing on it. Two of my friends are going to get together and the more learned one is going to help us pickle cucumbers later this summer. Last year I remember having so many, I couldn't eat and give them away fast enough. I am retired now, so I don't have as many recipients. I gave one of my neighbors a surplus plant, so she will have her own. 

The tomato plant behind it is getting tall, too.

Cucumber in the making...

Lastly, I've been going through old bins of family memorabilia. More on that later. But here's one thing that I found. It has my Mom's name on it, and the handwriting is my Dad's. This must have been intended to be very tongue and cheek and had them both laughing. I don't remember my Mom being a nag when my father drove. But I had a good laugh at this! The more you read, the funnier it gets. Don't think this would fly in 2020.  Notice the date- 1956-58. Right before I was born. 

Sunday, June 7, 2020


Today was another adventure in bread baking. Some friends and I split an order of 20 pounds of whole wheat flour from a local mill. Today, I used some to make some whole wheat bread. Baking bread is definitely an art that takes patience. Lots of waiting for the dough to rise, etc. But it is so worth it!

This recipe is divine. It has a bit of honey, which adds a perfect taste to the bread. Not too much, just enough. 

I decided to scrap the last sock that I was knitting. I wasn't thrilled with the color or the texture of the yarn. I'm going to start a new one:

Years ago, I bought a set of laminated fold-out sock patterns called Box of Socks. They are great patterns, and I like them for a little variety. Here's my yarn choices:

Multi-color yarn is Shibui that I probably bought 10 years ago. Same with the sparkly one, which is Lorna's Laces. The sparkle maroon will be for the heels and toes.

I'm thinking of keeping my camera in the kitchen. There's so much activity out my window as I stand at the sink! The remodel included a move for this sink from a solid wall to the window. I'm so glad that I did this! Here's a pair of goldfinches having thistle breakfast this morning by the shed:

See you all tomorrow!

Saturday, June 6, 2020


I put up a hummingbird feeder yesterday. By the afternoon, I witnessed 5 visits. Those are only the visits that I witnessed out of my kitchen window! Who knows how many times they came in all. It's another thing that brings joy to my house. 

I managed to snap a few pictures through the kitchen window.

For you who have feeders: How often do you change the syrup? I made my own out of sugar and water. In the Summer heat, I don't want it to get wonky. Any ideas, or should I give it the sniff test?

Friday, June 5, 2020


For those who suggested on my last post that there was probably a fawn nearby the Mama, you were right. I got a few snapshots in my neighbor's yard before they ran off. 

I little speckled baby. So small!

I'll try for some better pictures in the future.

I've been working on a pair of socks, and pondering which bigger project I should start next.

Outdoor knitting has been lovely. 

Reggie has been getting his walks early. It's way too hot later on in the day for him. As it is, he comes home and plops himself down under the ceiling fan in the sunroom as soon as he comes in the house after a walk. 

These are the modest poses. I won't post the pictures of how he usually lies. Quite the exhibitionist.

Bella doesn't have daily walks any more. At 14, her exercise is in the yard. But she still feels the heat.

Lastly, I wanted to tell you that today I took down most of my yarnbombing. There are two reasons for this. The first is that it was always intended to be temporary. The goal was to make people smile during self-isolation, whether walking by my house, or seeing it on here. It was uplifting for me to do this daily. But it was intended to come down after isolation guidelines were lifted. Our state has gone into Stage 2, which lifts many of these guidelines. 
Second, the need for this daily whimsy has changed for me. The world has changed in just in one month. I feel like this kind of creativity has become a bit irrelevant. I will always be someone who looks for whimsy in life, but maybe not in this way any more. So I left up 4 pieces for now. Thank you so much for all of your kind comments. It was a great experience. And stay tuned- I'm not going to stop blogging!

Tuesday, June 2, 2020


I almost titled this post Monday, because that's how time is for me right now. Non-descript days that have nothing to help me realize their title. Ok...It's Tuesday. Got it.

We had a visitor out the kitchen window the other day. It was a doe, who must have recently given birth.  She had a full pouch of milk. Didn't see any baby, though. She didn't stop to munch on the hostas or any other vegetation. She sauntered in from my neighbor's yard, looked around and sauntered back the way she came.

The big news for me is that I finished the 4-Ever In Blue Jeans crescent shawl. I need to weave in the ends and bock it today. It was a nice knit. I am sold on mosaic knitting. This is my second mosaic shawl, and definitely won't be my last.

My only wish is that I could have gotten further into the red part of the gradient. As it was, I added two rows at the end to get more red. Ah well, I still love it and I can't wait to wear it in the Fall.
As you can see, I was down to the wire with the green yarn. But I made it with a little bit to spare. 

See you umm.....Wednesday!