Monday, April 30, 2012

Music Monday

This song had been running through my head ever since I planted those marigolds the other day.

Yes, I sang it while I was planting them.

No, don't ask.


Sunday, April 29, 2012

What A Difference--And Some Knitting Stuff

a day makes.  Or a couple of days.  Whatever.

It's only been a couple of days since I spread my petunias out, but boy what a difference it made.  No sign of the fungus, and they're all doing better, but this one..

this one has absolutely exploded.  

Now, that is what a petunia is supposed to look like!

It's all part of the learning process, which is why I'm glad I'm going with annuals.  If I kill them, at least I don't have to feel too guilty-- the way I would if I killed a perennial.

Speaking of, years and years ago, I had a bird feeder in my back yard.  Around that bird feeder, I'd planted some morning glories.  Now, when I got the new house, I had to put it in a different spot than the old house, because it's a bit bigger.  And the bird feeder had to go.

The morning glories had long gone, or so I'd thought.

There, among the grass and weeds, it looks like some morning glories are trying to come up.  This amazes me, since they hadn't come up in years-- or if they did, they got mowed down long before they had a chance to bloom.  This year, they will get that chance.

James had a piece of leftover lattice sitting around, and we are going to make a trellis for them.

I also bought some moonflower seeds to plant, since I will already be at work by the time the morning glories open up.  Maybe they will open up before I have to go to bed.

Oh, and I was researching how to harden off seedlings, and I think I found the problem with mine.  Almost every site I read said that when they get all long and spindly like mine are, it's because they aren't getting enough light.  Even sitting in the sunniest window in the house won't be enough.

So, next year, my choices will be either invest in a grow lamp, or wait until it's just warm enough to plant them outside.  I think I'll start pricing grow lamps, since I know I won't be patient enough to wait that long. 

Now, the knitting...yesterday the first clue of the Anniversary Mystery Shawl '12 was released.  I debated for a long time whether to cast on, or wait until later.  Either way was a win for me.

If I cast on, I could make progress on my goal of knitting from stash.  On the other hand, if I waited and continued to work on WIPs, I could make progress on the goal of reducing those.

I thought about it a while, and realized April is almost over, and --get this-- I haven't cast on a new project all year.

I know, right?

So I decided to go ahead and cast on.  The yarn is Knit Picks Shadow in in the discontinued color papaya. 

After a few rows, I switched back to the AMS 10. I have to knit on it while the mojo is here, since it tends to wander off --sometimes for long periods of time.

In fact, that is why it still isn't finished. The mojo has been gone for at least a year and a half.  It's not that difficult a pattern.

But it's here now, and I'd better take advantage of it.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Lots Of Stuff

going on around here--at least in the nature department.

My petunias have some sort of fungus on them.  As I was researching how to get rid of it, most sites said to make sure they had plenty of space between them.  So, I bought a fungicide and repotted a few.

Purple Pride now has a pot all to himself, since he was the biggest. 

These were smaller, so I put three in this pot. If they get too big, I may have to move some more out.

The rest of them, I put in along the border of my flower bed.

I think they've already perked up a bit.

The wildflower mix I planted is popping up all over their end of the bed.

Pay no attention to the tops of my daffodils.  I'll get them snipped off eventually.  I hope.  I got so much stuff coming up that I'm afraid to get in there because I'll step on my seedlings. 

Anyway, as I said, I haven't seen hide nor hair of the Four O' Clocks I planted on the other end.  I've been debating on whether to buy another pack of seeds (which would be the third one) or just hope enough of my seedlings hang on to put them in.

I've got a few Zinnias that haven't croaked, and three Four 0'Clocks left.  Maybe they'll live long enough that I can plant them outside, eventually.

Meanwhile, in the vegetable garden...

James let his marigolds die, so I bought some more.  You put marigolds between your tomatoes to keep the nematodes off, you see.  Anyway, he didn't get them into the ground quickly enough and they died.  So I bought some more and put them in this evening. 

I actually made a step towards one of my goals in doing so. There were people in the yard.  Yes, there were people in the yard, and guess what I did?  I went out there anyway!  Yes, I really did!  I became just a tiny bit less of a hermit.

So, I put the marigolds in, and didn't quite have enough.  I'll get some more next time I go into town, and put the leftover ones in my flower bed.  I still have enough space along the front border for several more plants.

We also cut a hole in my skirting so I could reach my outside spigot.  I got my hoses out and hooked up--surprised as all get out that they were still good.  That will make it a lot easier to water my flower beds.

Now I'm thinking of re-doing the bed in the front.  My Lily of the Valleys aren't doing well.  I'm debating on whether I should move them, or just get some more and start over.  My hostas need to be spread out, too.  I'd like to have hostas all across the whole front of the house. 

And the plums are really coming on, too.

Now, if you'll excuse me, the first clue of the Anniversary Mystery shawl came out today, and I need to go wind yarn.

Friday, April 27, 2012

NFL Draft Round 1

Christmas in April -- er, I mean Draft Day-- dawned bright and sunny.   Draft Day is one of the most exciting days of the football year.  You just never know what might happen...

 In round 1, Dallas had the 14th pick, so I wasn't really paying all that close attention in the early picks. I was watching the draft on, while watching Big Bang Theory on TV.

Anyway, I wasn't paying that close of attention-- just glancing over every now and again to see who the picks were. Andrew Luck went to the Colts, as expected. RGIII went to the Redskins, again as expected. The Vikings traded the third pick to the Browns, who took Trent Richardson. And so on.

The Rams had the sixth pick, and Mike Mayock was droning on and on in that supremely annoying voice he has, when suddenly...

Suddenly I saw the Rams icon change to the familiar blue star.

That got my attention.  Jerry had traded up to the sixth pick.  Something big was going to happen.  I heard someone say, "Morris Claiborn is still out there."  Morris Claiborne?  Could it be? 

Barely able to breath, I silently plead, "Meaux Claiborne... Meaux Claiborne..." and then, Roger Goodell walked to the podium and 

 "Yes!" I shouted, jumping straight up out of my chair.  And Jesse ran and hid behind the bed, and Rylea rolled over and asked, "Is it football season again already?"

And Mama cried tears of joy....

And Giants fans showed their true class once again.  

Draft Day.  It is the most exciting day of the off season.

You just never know what might happen.  

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Dear CoWorker

I can greatly sympathize with your frustration in being unable to find a man.  In order to facilitate your search, let me suggest that you do something about that string of spit that is constantly connecting your bottom lip to your top lip when you talk.

It really is a turn off. 


Thank you.

That is all.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012


My little flower bed is showing signs of life!

These are some of the mixed wildflower seeds, so I have no idea what it is going to be.

In the meantime, I go out there every day and stand over it shouting, "GROW FASTER!"  Somehow, I don't think that's the best gardening technique.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Music Monday

Life! Life!

My flower beds are showing signs of life!  I took a picture, but then decided to defrag my computer, so you'll just have to wait until tomorrow...cause, yeah, I've got it all together like that.

In the meantime, just enjoy this song...

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Earth Day 2012

Genesis 1

   1In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
   2And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.
   3And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.
   4And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness.
   5And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.
   6And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.
   7And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so.
   8And God called the firmament Heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day.
   9And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so.
   10And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called he Seas: and God saw that it was good.
   11And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so.
   12And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind: and God saw that it was good.
   13And the evening and the morning were the third day.
   14And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years:
   15And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so.
   16And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also.
   17And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth,
   18And to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and God saw that it was good.
   19And the evening and the morning were the fourth day.
   20And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven.
   21And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that it was good.
   22And God blessed them, saying, Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply in the earth.
   23And the evening and the morning were the fifth day.
   24And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so.
   25And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good.
   26And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.
   27So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.
   28And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.
   29And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.
   30And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so.
   31And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Houston, We Still Have A Problem

A few weeks ago, Mike asked me if I would knit a picture for a charity auction. At first, I didn't really want to, but when he said it would be for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, how could I say no to that?

I asked him what he wanted it to look like, and Shelbi sent me a picture. Due to the detail, and my distaste for colorwork knitting, I asked if a cross stitch would be OK. She said it would, and after a quick Google search, I found the exact same picture already charted for sale on E-bay.

Yes, it was way overpriced for a computer printout of a standard net graphic plugged into a chart generating program, but it was for charity.

It finally arrived, and today I went into Wal-Mart to find Aida cloth and DMC floss.  Wouldn't you know it, they were in the process of rearranging (again) their craft department, and didn't have any cross stitch stuff out.  Sigh...I'll go back in a couple of days to see if they've gotten it out, but if not, I guess I'll have to order it online.

But in my fruitless search for cross stitch supplies, I ran across this.  

Houston, we have a problem.

Yes, it did come home with me.  It is a sketchbook, though.  Not a notebook.  Long time reader (yes, the one of you) might remember that the whole reason I started blogging was to have a place to post my sketches.  The original title of my blog was Sketches And More, and my very first post was a sketch of Squeaky.  I kind of gave it up several years ago.  Maybe getting a new sketchbook will inspire me to start drawing again. 

Now, where did I put those pencils?

Yesterday was my semi-annual dentist appointment.  Thank the LORD, no cavities this time!  Anyway, after said appointment, I ran by Wal-Mart to get milk, and took a stroll through the garden center.  I found these gorgeous little annuals and couldn't resist them.

They are called chupacabras. 

Wait, that's not right... they are calibrachoa.  I'd never heard of them, but absolutely fell in love with the hot pink ones.   They are now safely ensconced in my flower bed.

Now, if only my other plants will grow. 

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Holocaust Remembrance Day

This is the day we set aside to remember the six million Jews murdered in Hitler's death camps.

In no way do I want to diminish this tragic loss of life, still I cannot help but think also of the modern day holocaust occurring in our very own country.  A holocaust in which ten times as many babies have died in abortion clinics around the U.S.

And as I think about the sixty million babies who have died since abortion was legalized in 1973, I can't help but wonder...

What ever happened to "Never Again"?

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

WIPs On Wednesday

1.  2011 Anniversary Mystery Shawl.  Completed!  This is the only thing I've been working on lately, because I was so determined to get it finished.  It was one of the bigger projects I had on the needles, so finishing it is quite an accomplishment.

2.  Charity Scarf:  did just a few rows, but not enough to really notice. 

3.  Arwen Wrap: No progress

4.  The 2010 Anniversary Mystery Shawl.   No progress

5. Conwy sock:  No progress this week

6. Traveling Roses Scarf: No progress this week.

7. Garter Rib Scarf: No progress.

8. Fruit Of The Vine  scarf: Ditto.

9. Orkney Pi Shawl:  No progress

10.  Leper bandage: This is my new waiting project.  When I'm on my excruciatingly slow desktop and I'm waiting 20 years for a page to load, I pick it up and knit a row or two. 

11 & 12. The two sock yarn blankies. No new squares this week.

That's about it.  I've been determined to spend more time outside, and not in front of the TV.  Unfortunately, that does cut into my knitting time.  That's another thing I like about winter.  I don't feel so obligated to be outside all the time.  It's dark earlier, cold, often rainy, and that's a good excuse to stay inside and knit.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

It's A Good Thing

I guess it's a good thing that I'm so impatient.

I'd taken today off of work to get all my stuff planted in my flower bed. But, once we got the hot wire stretched Saturday evening, I just couldn't wait that long. I got out there Sunday afternoon and planted everything, because I just couldn't wait.

That's a good thing, because it ended up raining all day today. Actually, it started raining Sunday night and hasn't stopped yet.

I had other stuff in the yard I wanted to do-- like trimming up my ever more scraggly Azaleas, and pulling the honeysuckle out of the pear and plum trees-- but the rain, well, I just didn't want to get out in it.

So I finished off the 2011 Anniversary Mystery Shawl. Here it is in its unblocked state.

Here is a closeup of the pattern.

Kindly ignore the state of my carpet. Two days of rain plus three dogs equals a nasty carpet, and until the mud dries, there's no point in trying to do anything about it.

Around 4:30ish, I put on my jacket and went to check my flower beds to see if anything was growing yet.  Yeah, I only planted two days ago, but I'm impatient like that.  To my horror, I found a bulb laying on top of the dirt.  My first thought was that one of my daffodils had been uprooted.

Well, my first thought was "ACK!", but that goes without saying.

I checked my flower bed carefully, but nothing seemed out of place, nor were there any holes where it looked like anything had been uprooted.  Then I picked up the bulb, and saw that it wasn't a daffodil anyway.  Nearest I could tell, it was a spider lily bulb. 

I think.  The leaves look like spider lily, but compared to the rest of my spider lily bulbs, it is HUGE. 

No matter.  Tomorrow afternoon, as soon as I get off of work, it is getting planted.

Where it came from remains a mystery.  The only thing I can think of is that James dug it up when he was digging his drainage ditch from the garden, and tossed it over there where I would find it.

Either that, or it fell out of the sky.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

A Very Foolish Thing

I did a very foolish thing today.

I'd had to fight the urge all day yesterday as well.  Today I broke down and did it.  And it was a very foolish thing to do.  What was this very foolish thing, you may ask?  Well, I'll tell you.

I went and checked my bird's nest again. 

Clinging to the hope that I'd somehow been mistaken.  That it was a dream.  That I'd imagined it all.  That it had never really happened, I went out and checked the nest, to see if maybe I'd been wrong, and the babies were still there.

They weren't.

They were still gone, and as if to drive the knife even further into my heart, the mama had moved on as well.  It's all empty.  All silent.

Nothing left, but a dull ache were once there was excitement and joy.

Now I know why they call it The Empty Nest Syndrome.

Friday, April 13, 2012

I Haz A Sad

I got home from work, and as usual, trekked out to the pear tree to take my baby bird photo of the day. As I approached, I sensed something was wrong.

It seemed unusually still. Unusually quiet.

When I got to the nest, I saw that it was tipped over. And empty.

I looked all over. On the ground under the nest. In the nearby branches. Nothing.

Nothing but the forlorn chirping of the mama bird desperately calling for her babies. It was no use. They are gone. Since they were still way too young to fly, I can only conclude that some predator got them.

I'm seriously bummed.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

We Are Even Go-er!

For planting, that is.

I had to go in early to work this morning, and boy was I tired.  See, I'd woken up at 3:30 to answer nature, and got to thinking  about my flower beds, and planning them, and stuff, and I couldn't go back to sleep.  So I've been awake a long, long time...

After an excruciatingly long day at work, I was finally able to get my toes into the dirt.  We tilled the beds up one more time, mixed my fertilizer stuff into the soil, and I got my border put down.

They'd had a border that looked like stone. It was plastic, but you get my drift.  I should have gotten it then, but I didn't.  When I went back to get it, they were out, so I got this black stuff instead.  It'll do for now. 

I may go back and get some more of that Miracle Grow stuff, though.  When I bought the bag, I was only planning on a 4' x 4' bed.  One bag would have been enough for that size bed, but as you can see, it's gotten quite a bit bigger since then. 

Oh, and I need some mulch, too. 

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

We Are Go

We are go for planting!

I caught James this afternoon, and asked him to show me how to use the tiller so I could get out and get my flower beds started. He said, "You'd better let me do it for you."

So, he cut me up a good size bed. He's going to go over it again tomorrow, and then I can start getting my plants and stuff in it.

He's also going to take care of this problem for me.

He's going to put up his electric fence around his vegetable garden, and run a wire over to my flower bed and around it, to keep the dogs out of it.  He's only going to leave it there for a few days, or until the dogs learn to avoid fresh tilled earth. The hard part will be keeping me out of them.  There's nothing like the feeling of walking through fresh tilled earth in bare feet.  And there is the problem of not tripping over it as I leave for work in the mornings.  Yeah, that'll wake me up real fast.

Anyway, I've got the perennials I bought the other day to put into it.  I'm also going to move some of my daffodils into the bed.  I've got some cultivated daffs that make huge blooms, plus some double daffs, and some called Easter Bonnet Daffodils.  The wild daffs I'm just going to leave in the yard.  I bought some more Four O'Clock seeds, and a pack of mixed wildflowers.  I think I'm going to plant those around the daffodil bulbs.  If I have any room left, I'll probably get some more types of annuals to plant there.  That'll be it for this year.  I don't want to get in too deep before I see if this is going to be something I want to keep up with in the long term.

I took a vacation day for next Tuesday, so if I don't get it all done before then, I'll have a whole day to work in my flower beds.  

Meanwhile, the petunias are doing well, and have even opened up a few new blooms.   

I'll be sure to keep you posted.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Needless To Say

Last night was the first night for our trainees to be totally on their own. 

Needless to say, we walked into a mess this morning. 

There were at least 15 coils all piled in the floor needing repair.  All cluttered up around my work station.  I had to walk around, over, and through them to get my work done.  I walked too close once and managed to cut my leg on the very sharp, protruding edge of a top plate-- through my blue jeans.  Amazingly enough, it didn't tear my jeans. 

I went up to the first aid room to get a band-aid and fill out an accident report, but when I got there, there weren't any band-aids anywhere.  I had to use one from my super secret, illegal stash in my lunch box. 

Then I got the chance to stay late, so I did.  By the time I got home, an hour later than usual, I had a raging headache, and all I wanted to do was lay down in a dark room. 

Needless to say, my flower beds didn't get tilled. 

Maybe tomorrow...

Despite my agony, I did trudge out and take a new photo of the baby birds-- getting dive bombed by the mama bird in the process.  


She hit the head. 

Can we skip the rest of today, please? 

Monday, April 09, 2012

I Haz Petunias!

I've gotten lots of advice on how to care for my seedlings, most of it conflicting.  Too much water.  Not enough water.  Too much sun.  Not enough sun..etc, etc...Yet, despite my best efforts, still they drop like flies.

I finally just gave up on them, and went and bought some petunias.

I had three big old pots hanging around in the yard for years, so I thought I'd just plant some in them.

I bought some potting soil, but discovered after I got back home, that one of my pots had broken. No matter. I'd bought the biggest bag of soil they had, and still it only filled up two pots.

But it worked out OK, as I was able to fit all my petunias into the two pots just fine. I think this one is my favorite.

Dark, velvety purple. After I planted them, I kept going back outside just to look at them.

I also bought some border stuff for my flower beds. They were out of the kind I wanted. It was plastic, but looked like stone. So I just got some plain black plastic edging. I got enough for my perennials I bought the other day, and to make a bed of annuals.  I'm still hoping I can get some Four O'Clocks to grow--even if I have to buy some more seeds and plant them directly into the ground.  That's the only way I've ever had any luck with them.  And I still have a few Cosmos seeds left.  I'll throw them out there, too. 

Maybe tomorrow I can get out there and get my beds tilled up and planted. 

Sunday, April 08, 2012

Resurrection Sunday

Why do you seek the living One among the dead? He is not here, for he is risen!

Luke 24: 5-6

Friday, April 06, 2012

Good Friday

I searched all over YouTube looking for a good song for today. I thought of all the old hymns...

When I Survey The Wondrous Cross

Were You There?

The Old Rugged Cross

At The Cross

They are all beautiful songs, very meaningful, and I love them, too. But in the end, none of them expressed today quite like this one.

My chains are gone. I've been set free.

My God, my savior has ransomed me.

That's what Good Friday is all about.

Thursday, April 05, 2012

I Give Up

But before I give up, first the good news. I'm a grandma!

Of sorts. My little birdie eggs hatched!

I know it's not the best of photos, but it had just finished raining, and I didn't want to keep the mama away from them for very long. So I just snapped a quickie and left them alone. Maybe on a warmer day, I can get a better one.

Well, as I expected, the seeds I planted a few weeks ago are all dying.  The Cosmos are all gone.  The Zinnias and Petunias are dropping like flies.  The Four O'Clocks are still hanging in there, but even some of them have died.  So, I gave up and bought some perennials.  

This pack has 12 plants in it. Eight blazing star, two purple coneflowers, and two Goldsturm coneflowers.  They are perennials, though.  Probably Saturday after work, I'll borrow James' tiller and cut up a bed for them and whatever seedlings survive.

I've also got three big pots that I'm going to buy some potting soil for and just buy some annuals to put in them. 

Parting shot:  How to tell when Jake has been visiting.

He brings every toy in the house wanting me to throw it for him.


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