Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Deer Fight

The battle lines have been drawn. The deer went around the fence and chomped our sunflowers! It's an annual event and it's war.

I'm going to get out the heavy artillery, which basically means a nasty smelling powder. Unfortunately it repels humans as well. And I need to plant new sunflower seeds. It was all going to smoothly in the garden this spring. I should have known.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Summer is Imminent

Wow, the upcoming weekend means summer is on its way. Yesterday's heat wave was proof it is serious about arriving.

After what seemed liked an extremely cold spring, the heat was a shock. Sweaters are still everywhere in the house. Actually, it felt like spring never really arrived and despite the floral evidence, I feel like we just went through Autumn.

Well, time put that behind us and plan some summer fun. Here's a list of a few little things I want to squeeze in this summer:

Grow our own string beans (the little one's favorite vegetable)
Have a picnic at our local nature preserve
Finally buy a gas grill and cook lot's of healthy meals outside
Finish planting our herbs and use lots of them in healthy salads
Spruce up our rock garden that is feeling a bit neglected
Read a really great book
Swim a lot with the little one
Go bike and scooter riding
Adapt a summer attitude

Monday, May 20, 2013


Well the week ahead is going to be rainy rainy rainy. At least that's what the weatherman says. Not what I would have wished for on my long weekend off before a new job.

Toward the end of winter and all this spring, I have felt as if I'm not in my normal climate. It's as if I was suddenly living in the Pacific Northwest. The verdant greens are beautiful, but I'm longing for sun and heat.


I bought a bunch at a wholesale market on Friday and was shaking my head at how expensive they were. The foliage looked wilted and I was questioning my decision. Did I really need to indulge my love of them.

The guy at the flower store said to cut off the unnecessary leaves and then assured me "They are going to be beautiful, they just came in today."

I was skeptical of both statements and thought to myself you'd make a good used car salesman.

Happily, I was proven wrong. The peonies filled two vases and are glorious. Watching them slowly unfurl was fascinating. Every time I looked at them this weekend, a smile came to my face. Worth every penny.

Finishing Things

Last weekend I finished a sweater that I started years ago. Originally, I bought the wool to make another pattern but there was this tricky fringe along in edge that I could not figure out. I abandoned that sweater and pulled out the back that I had knit, rewound the wool and started on an easier pattern.

Then I got side tracked, misplaced my notes and lost my place in the pattern. Finally, I just left it to deal with more pressing stuff.

Coming back to an old knitting project is always a challenge and a little unnerving. What if it's all wrong? What if I have to pull the whole thing out?

Happily, I was able to solve the puzzle. I restarted and over some weeks was able to tackle the unfinished front and match the shaping. Knit two sleeves, sew the shoulders, add the collar, sew it up and tuck in all of the loose ends.

Assembling and finishing is my least favorite part of knitting. I find it stressful. The knitting is sometimes very meditative and peaceful, but sewing requires full focus and my fear that it's not all going to work out in the end takes over.

The sweater is finished, it's not perfect but it turned out well. It fits and I actually like it. Now, when the cold weather comes in the fall, I will have a reason to celebrate. Now, I'm celebrating pushing through and the joy of finishing.

Top image the sweater I was going to make.
Bottom image the sweater I made.
Images from Rowan Ribbon Twist Collection.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Time of Roses

Time of Roses by Thomas Hood
It was not in the Winter
Our loving lot was cast;
It was the time of roses—
We pluck'd them as we pass'd!

That churlish season never frown'd
On early lovers yet:
O no—the world was newly crown'd
With flowers when first we met!

'Twas twilight, and I bade you go,
But still you held me fast;
It was the time of roses—
We pluck'd them as we pass'd!

For more rose poems visit Famous Poets and Poems.

Friday, May 3, 2013

This Makes Me Happy & So Does Friday

Click here to learn more about the World's Largest Rubber Duckie!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

I want a... Bee Skep

Well, I love the way bee skeps look, but I'm not sure I'd actually encourage bees to nest in my garden. I'm glad when they stop by, but setting up house would probably be another thing. Plus, with my luck it would end  up a Yellow Jacket's nest. If I could put one in my garden without it becoming a hive I'd get one.

Sadly, the bees used to be killed to collect the honey in the skeps. Modern day wooden hives are not so charming looking, but they are much more bee friendly.

For an in depth look at skeps read here.

Proud New Owner of a Tree

Who knew it was so difficult to buy a tree? The right tree, that is. I have been looking for a weeping snow fountain cherry tree for about two years. I would shop around in early spring and all the trees were too large or scraggly or just not right. Summer would take over, and I would never get around to buying one.

This weekend, I was resolved to get a tree to put in the circle of daffodils I planted for it two years ago. It's amazing what someone will try and sell you when you ask for a dwarf cherry tree. Options offered included a cherry tree that would grow 15 to 20 feet, a weeping rain tree with yellow flowers, a mature apple tree that was so oddly shaped it warranted a discount, and finally what can only be described as a flowering bush. Buying a car would have been easier.

Finally, I found my tree. It is not the perfect tree I had in my mind, that's actually growing in my neighbors yard. But it is a good tree and will grow into our perfect tree.