Around Here | 8.2.19

Around Here | 8.2.19

This first Friday in August just seems like the perfect time to do an “around here” post!

Around here – I am so happy to welcome August with its warm, sunny days – although there is a perceptible difference in the hours of daylight. It is no longer light out when I get up and the light is fading much earlier…BUT!!! We still have so much summer to enjoy and there is still lots of time for Al Fresco Happy Hours!

Around here – I will celebrate some special dates next week: the 8th would have been my paternal grandfather’s 112th birthday and the 10th will be the 26th anniversary of my Nana’s death. Both people were so influential in my life and I still miss them so much.

Left to right: my dad – Gordon, Grandpa John, Aunt Janice, Grandma, Uncle Kenneth As I recall, this photo was taken about 6 months before my Grandpa John died at age 62. 

Heidi’s Baptism, left to right: My sister, Susan, my mom (holding Heidi) me holding Rachel, my ex, and finally, My Nana – Mae Huxhold How about those hair styles? I have permed hair – so awesome! Haha! This picture was taken about 3 years before my Nana died. I looked for a photo with her from Sam’s baptism – but there are no photos that include her and that makes me so sad. She avoided the camera – so photos that include her are rare.

Around here – I have happily reached the “little flowers” portion of my shawl and the end is in sight! Good thing because, as you can see above, I am well into the second half of my yarn! Also, a good thing because I am itching to cast on a new project! This crossed my radar last month and I have been bouncing it around in my brain for about a week now and I think going to Sock School sounds like the perfect thing to do and I might even learn something that will inspire me to knit more socks! Plus Carole’s finished socks really inspired me and I have a skein from Knitterly Things that needs to be socks in a bad way!

Vesper Sock Yarn in the “Happy Accident” colorway

Around here – I am picking more and more from my garden. I have a plethora of peppers that will make their way into our meals this week! I am also picking more than a handful of tomatoes each day as well and I am this.close to the raspberry apocalypse!

Around here – I have been surprised by some of the unexpected moments at the debates this week! Now, granted, there were way too many unsurprising moments, but those brief unexpected ones are standing out for me! But, best of all might be the post debate commentary – from Clorox discussions to how much “Moscow Mitch” hates his new moniker and I laughed at all of them, but this one… well, I am with Miranda Yaver!

And, there you have my brief but, hopefully spectacular “around here” moments! I hope today ushers in an amazing weekend for all of you and I will see you all back here on Monday!

TGIF | 7.12.19

TGIF | 7.12.19

Another Friday and another weekend. Summer is not being lazy at all!

Thinking About:

The future came and went in the mildly discouraging way that futures do. – Neil Gaiman, Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch

I find myself pondering the passage of time this month. In less than 10 days, Genevieve will be 4 years old and that seems so impossible to me. July is almost halfway over, and that also seems impossible to me. Gaiman’s quote seems most appropriate – indeed the future is coming and going all to rapidly. And speaking of Genevieve – her mom and dad took her to get her ears pierced last week. Genevieve has been begging and begging to have this done. Well, as you can see – she has one ear pierced but there was no way in hell she was getting the second one done! I confess, I am laughing about this – I should not, but I am. That face looks so angelic… ha! Bribery to get the second ear done has begun in earnest but she has not yet succumbed!

She looks so innocent…

Grooving On:

Early Bloomer’s color work! There is something addictive about color work – it is hard to put down. The urge to knit just more row to see how the pattern will unfold pulls me in and keeps me knitting. I have one set of flowers to go and their magical lure will be complete! Vera asked to see the colors I am knitting with… a dark brown, coffee-colored yarn paired with a green and a turquoise. I think they work well together. I am a little concerned that the neckline is going to be too wide – but maybe not. Once I am done with the color work, I am going to take Heidi’s suggestion and finish the neck to check the fit.

Just one more section to go!

Impatiently Waiting:

While I would like summer to slow down a bit, I am eager for my growing tomatoes to ripen! I think we need more sun than we have had for that to happen, but I am hoping that soon I have at least a handful of tomatoes to put on my salad!

Yes, those are raindrops on my tomatoes!

Fed Up With:

Rain. And really, the volume of rain we have been having! We got another 2 inches of rain yesterday. The flooding here is crazy and my garden has had a moat surrounding it more days than not. I might not mind the rain so much if we had an all-day, soaking rain versus the torrential downpours we have been having. They are “rain events” not rainstorms.

That is all I have for this week! I have my fingers crossed that I will win the battle and Happy Hour tonight will be outside. Have a great weekend everyone and I will see all of you back here on Monday!

TGIF | 4.12.19

TGIF | 4.12.19

It was a full week and next week will be more of the same so today I am just taking a deep breath and planning on spending some time today knitting on my Marsa Alam, because I don’t think there will be many knitting moments this weekend – the yard is fairly screaming for some attention and the Yard Work Fairies have yet to show up, darn it all!

But all that aside, it was such a good week!

Thinking about –

Gardening… it is that time of the year! I stumbled across this article about a garden that is still thriving…six decades after the death of the gardener! This makes me think about my yard and garden beds in different ways – ways that are more long term and lasting. I am also reminded of our visit last year to Fallingwater and all the rhododendrons that were planted all over the grounds – the forethought of this truly impacts the beauty of the grounds today. Gardening with purpose is something I always want to do, but I don’t always achieve that. These are good reminders as we begin a new season.

Grateful for –

My library. Truly. It is a place beyond measure. A place to gather with friends, a place for stirring conversation, a place with unending books ready to take you away…and this morning I saw this! This sparks all kinds of joy inside me! I am adding “nurturer of crafting” to the list of things my library does!

Inspired by –

Courtney, as always – and the timeliness of her messages. How does she know? Her words of wisdom about how to deal with being busy – even too busy – are just what I needed this week. I have been thinking about the things I spend my time on – and have been paring some things back. At first these things were hard to “give up” – but after a couple of days I found I did not miss the constant scrolling I was doing on IG – I check it, but only at the end of the day. Am I missing things? Yes, I am quite certain I am. But if you don’t know you are missing something, are you really missing it? I am also not spending hours each day “surfing the net” with much the same results – at first, it was so hard to get up and walk away from my pc! But like the IG phenomenon, after a few days it was not hard to get up at all. In fact, each day it is easier and some mornings I have had to make myself go and sit at the pc! What am I doing with all this extra time? Well, for one thing – my meditation time has really improved since cutting back on my screen time! And that is absolutely inspiring!

Fun –

This weekend Steve and I are heading into the “wilds” of our yard to tame the overgrown bushes. Is this going to be fun – oh, hell no! But!! I am going into it with the following mindset – I am going to be quiet no matter how much Steve yells (and he will be yelling, oh my! lol) I am going to be patient no matter how much I want to be doing something else – my mantra will be, “this too shall pass”, and I am going to be cheerful even when I don’t want to be (because it is hard to yell at a cheerful person right?) Wish me luck!!

And, there you have it! I wish you all a wonderful weekend – full of every little thing you want! See you all back here next week!

Every Day Good

Every Day Good

There is so much going on every day and not all of it good. So, every day I try very hard to have something good to focus on, I thought I’d share a bit of that with you!

Watching: The eclipse! Even though in Pittsburgh we only got a partial eclipse – it was spectacular even with some cloud cover. The changes to the light were stunning. You will be happy to know that our household listened to the directions of not looking at the sun to prevent retinal damage. This was not the case for everyone… Perhaps this should be a test for competency? And, as for the digital watching: Game of Thrones (of course!) and Endeavor! I also watched the finale of Broadchurch and honestly, I was a little disappointed. But, I won’t say any more than that for all those who have yet to watch it.

Stitching: Every single day and I am really pleased with how August is unfolding. Really pleased! I also went and got some button craft thread and my hope is that I will soon turn this pile of tee shirts into my first AC garment.

Reading: and listening like a maniac as I chase down my cover all! I am just 2 squares away and have about 18 hours of listening to do. I am eager to get them done because Beach Music by Pat Conroy just came off hold for me at the library! I am also reading the Essays of E.B. White on my Kindle and I have both books by Laurie Colwin (Home Cooking and More Home Cooking). I am almost done with Home Cooking – I should have it completed this week. This has really been the most spectacular summer for reading. Ever.

Picking: Tomatoes…so many tomatoes. That picture above is from this morning! I know, you are all probably sick of hearing about tomatoes, but this year, the volume of large tomatoes has been really quite spectacular. In past years, I have been happy with the dozen we have picked, but this year has had a bumper crop with no signs of production slowing down! Also, raspberries… I picked enough again this morning to make a batch of jam. I know these are such awful problems to have. Spending time in my garden is really the best time, I would not trade it for anything – even with the bunnies decimating our beans! There should be a “not picking” category perhaps, because outside of the handful of zucchini we picked at the beginning of the season, it has not been a good year for them at all. We have picked a sum total of zero since then and it does not look like that will change. I am not sure why they are having such a bad year, but my neighbor is not having any success with his squash plants this year either.

Eating: Tomatoes from my garden! Every.single.day! And, for those things we aren’t growing: sweet corn, peaches, and an incredible variety of peppers! August is the month where I am quite certain I could become a vegetarian.

Looking forward to: Our trip to Michigan! We finalized the dates and have our Airbnb reservation all set. It is the one thing that is really giving me something to look forward to! Why? Because…

Dreading: The end of August. The arrival of Labor Day. The return of dark mornings. Having to turn lights on at night earlier. This summer I have really tried to not “wish ahead” but rather spend more time in the moment enjoying. This has been an eye-opening practice – I am much happier with each day and I am worrying less about tomorrow, or next month, or next year. September, you can just wait your turn – there is lots of August left!

Celebrating: Sherman’s 5th Birthday on Saturday! Every day I am so incredibly thankful for him. He is a bright spot in our day.

That is a slice of what is good in my life right now; how about you? What’s good in your life?

How My Garden Grows

How My Garden Grows

Mary had asked about my garden, so I thought I would share with you what works for us… or what we hope works for us! I do not have ground that would give me what Bonny has in her yard. The soil here is very poor and extremely rocky – as in there are more rocks than dirt.

So, we first started out with cedar 4×4 beds and this year we moved those beds and replaced them with Smart Pots. We have 2 sizes: 2 – Big Bag Bed which is 50″ across and 5 – 7 gallon pots. These are working extremely well, thus far.

The raspberries have all but taken over the back bed and they don’t seem to mind the poor soil quality. We planted peppers in a third of this bed (the only remaining original bed from our first year of gardening. I replenish the soil each spring, but the peppers are not doing well at all this year. I am hoping the boost of nitrogen we gave them over the weekend, a measured bit of watering, and a bit of shade to allow them to recover without having to bake all day in this heat wave we are having will help them perk up a bit soon! We have 3 different kinds of peppers – Poblano, Jalapeno, and Cubanelle.

I have 4 zucchini plants in the smaller bags and 1 bush cucumber. Both are thriving in the bags, and I have LOTS of baby zucchini growing!

Tomatoes and beans share the larger bag beds, and I have an incredible variety this year. My neighbor gave us a variety of plants he seeded: Romanescos, Striped Germans, and Bumble Bees which I planted in one of the bag beds. He also gave us San Marzanos and Beefsteaks (which I planted in the old cedar beds which are now outside the “deer-free zone”). We also have a trio of Cherry Sweet 100s that share a bed with a Mortgage Lifter, an Oxheart, and a Sun Gold. I interspersed beans in between the tomatoes in the large bag beds.

Surprisingly, I found several tomato plants growing under the rose bush that must have seeded from last year’s cherry tomatoes. I have transplanted them into the “outside” beds and they are doing quite well!

An offspring of last years crop!

I also have a dozen each of red and yellow onions – I have yet to have success with onions, but they are growing well in the “outside” beds and the deer have thus have touched nothing in those beds, fingers crossed that continues!

The rhubarb seems to have done well in moving, and I got one new rhubarb plant this spring.

If you think you don’t have space – I highly recommend the 7 gallon pots! They are sturdy, and the zucchini and cucumber are happy as can be in them! The big beds take more dirt than you imagine they will, but in a tight space it is nice to have a round object versus a 4×4 square. This bed holds just as much as the square, but it is much easier to move around!

There you have a little view at my garden.

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