So busy for so little to talk about

 Last week was a very busy week.  Our big project elevated.  I spent Friday testing and calming frazzled nerves.  Wednesday was my second Covid vax and I was not feeling up to par on Thursday, but that got better in the afternoon.  I spent a lot of time walking around the garden, checking out the new flowers, but they're mostly just more of the same flowers you've seen already.  All in all, not much to talk about this week.  

I finished the sleeves of the sweater and was about to attach them with the body, but when I studied it, I realized it would be much easier if the body and the sleeves were on the same row count, and I only needed to add a few rows to the body to make that happen, but there were errors in the body that I had decided not to fix that were going to throw the repeat off, and I'd remade parts of the sleeves several times to ensure they'd match one another, so why not take out 20 rows of the body and fix the mistake.  Then, when I got it all back on the needles, I found another mistake and took out another 10 rows.  Then, I put 15 rows back and and found a new mistake and took out six rows.  Then, I became obsessed and started just trying to finish without another error.  Right now, I'm back to row 92, which is where I was when I picked it up and started taking rows out.  Five days of knitting, just to be back where I started.  But, this time, there are no major mistakes.  

When I started this project on January 1, I did not anticipate it would take this long.  I thought I'd be able to wear the sweater this year, but it's already getting too warm for a wool sweater.  

All that yard work is really paying off.  Everything is coming up and what's not in bloom is getting ready for summer.  

More of the iris I didn't know I had.  Almost every bloom is unique and slightly different than the others, some more purple, some more gold, but slightly different than the other flowers, even flowers on the same bloom stalk.

When Syd lived with us, she collected Hibiscus.  This is the only one that survived the winter storm.  Even the ones in the portable greenhouse did not stay warm enough to survive.  This one got dragged into the garage at the last minute, so it made it, and now it's put on its first flower.  

This acuba lost all it's leaves except a few at the bottom that were below the snow line.  We talked about cutting it back, but by the time the old leaves turned brown and started to fall off, it was already putting out new leaves and this is what it has turned into.  

This is the Cinco de Mayo rose.  It also died back to the snow line, but it's putting out lots of new blooms now and is going to be fine.  It's the only rose I have that died back like it did.   

On Thursday, when I was feeling the effects of the second dose, I was so glad I didn't actually have Covid.  I just kept telling myself that it would be over soon and I could wait it out.  I stayed huddled up in an old sweater and sweatpants all day and fortunately, people at work left me pretty much alone.  When Rob got home, he asked if I wanted him to go get takeout for dinner, but by then, I was feeling nearly back to my old self and wanted my own cooking.  


I know that the world was turning last week and that things were happening, but I was too busy and too stressed to care much.  It was really nice to take a week off from worrying whether some idiot was going to blow up the world to soothe his damaged ego.  Having adults in charge is very relaxing, even if they're having to deal with spoiled babies that lied their way into office.  Even lyin' ted was too busy defending himself for looking like an ass to make much more of an ass of himself.   The debate over D.C. statehood was comical and as far as I can tell, repubs are too busy coming up with stupid excuses for their bad behavior to actually get much done in the way of crippling America so they can pretend to be doing something to fix it.  Let's keep them busy defending themselves for their personal behavior and they won't be able to hurt any of the rest of us.  

Everybody have a great week!  I'll be continuing to work through last week's project and getting ready for the next one.  Life marches on, and on, and on.



Flowers everywhere

 It's definitely been a floral week around here.  Rob and I both spent what today feels like a little too much time in the yard and flowerbeds, continuing to get ready for this year.  We went to the garden center, but nothing really grabbed me except a few zinnias and I brought them home and put them in pots, so they can prepare for summer when they'll need to stand out.  Everything else is coming along nicely, as you'll see soon.  

Because the baby quilt wasn't pin basted, I had time to make the carnation block for the Ruby McKim Flower Garden quilt.  It's okay.  It doesn't wow me.  It's hard to make a flower look right when it's just one color.  But, that's part of the simplicity of this quilt pattern and this one is going to fit in perfect with the rest to create an overall beautiful effect (fingers crossed...toes crossed, elbows crossed, eyes crossed).  Next block up is the Chinese Lantern.  It's going to take a minute. There are lots of small pieces and long stems...that I might break into smaller pieces to make it easier.  

I got a cookbook for two for Christmas.  Its mid-April and the cover has come off.  I've been using that cookbook a LOT.  I bought a 6" springform pan and last week I made a cheesecake for two.  It was gone in three nights of small slices, topped with sliced strawberries that had been sugared.  It was fabulous, light, and satisfying.  Yesterday, I made a batch of oatmeal raisin cookies.  They're good but they're not as good as the recipe on the back of the lid of the Quaker Oats cylinder.  They're very rich, like a caterer's cookie recipe.  I prefer a cookie that's more like "I want cookies and a glass of milk before bed."  Three of these rich cookies and I wouldn't sleep. But, the cheesecake was perfect.  Not too rich and it had a smooth, creamy feel and taste.  

Every day, I walk through the garden.  I look at what is blooming, what is about to start blooming, and what has stopped blooming that I hope I enjoyed.  

This is the Cinco de Mayo rose.  I was afraid I'd lost this one.  It died back to the snow line from the freeze in February.  But, it's put out new stems and they're from the graft, not from the root stock, so all is well.  Now, they're covered in flower buds.  

I probably would not have bought an orange miniature rose.  But, I have been thinking of adding more orange to my garden, and this rose was free, and there's just nothing bad I can say about that combination. They are very pretty little flowers.  

This little variegated rose was in the same pot with the orange one (what were they thinking!?!).  Another one I probably wouldn't have both, but it's very cute and I'm glad I have it and it's in a perfect spot under the orange tree, so it gets plenty of sun, but not too much sun.  It's also covered in new growth and buds.  

This iris is a mystery.  I don't know where it came from and I don't know how I ended up with four large clumps without knowing I had it.  I can only assume it had never bloomed, but it was clearly growing and reproducing.  I'm glad it bloomed this year and hope it wasn't just because of the freeze and that it will continue to bloom every year.  

Last week was crazy at work.  We're in the middle of a big project, and one of my bosses laid a new project that's due 5 days later on my desk...that's during the testing period for the first project.  I was pissed at first, but realized I could either be pissed or I could get the work done now, when it's kind of slow, and make it convenient for me.  That's what I ended up doing, despite that one person that has no power, so likes to push their weight around any chance they get.  She made a point of letting me know that the document I'm working on wouldn't be ready on my time schedule.  Joke's on her,  I did everything except attach that document on Friday, and then I let everyone know we were waiting on her.  Not in a snotty way, just 'I'm done with what I needed to do.  Let me know when the document is ready'.  

She ain't gone bother me, not this week satan.

Everybody have a great week.  It's going to be busy, but there will still be time to walk in the garden and smell the roses.  Take care and stay safe!  Lane


More of the same

Last week's goal was to get the baby quilt assembled and ready to sandwich and quilt.  I managed to do that, despite pouring coffee on it Saturday morning, but it was down to the wire yesterday afternoon and I was still fiddling with the border.  After that, it had to be hand washed in the tub, wrapped in towels and stomped on to squeeze the water out and then blocked out to size and pinned to the floor to dry.  I sure was glad I spent the time to figure out the QST around the edge instead of cheating and using HST, which would have left a bias outside edge that would have stretched to some unintended and likely wierd size and shape.  While it was drying, I dug through the scraps to find bright fabrics, cut them to to the wrong size (luckily too big) and put them together in a pleasing way, laying them around the edges of the wet quilt top.  After I ironed the top, I was able to resize and attach the borders.  

It was such a pretty day that I had to take it outside for a picture.  It's so bright and sparkly.

The rest of my time was spent in the garden.  I was out there every morning last week, doing something that needed doing.  Planting a plant, moving a plant, watering a plant.  You know the drill.  Then, I worked out there until it got hot on Saturday and Sunday mornings.  I walk around taking pictures of it so I can remember what all that hard work is for.  

More iris from Syd's house.

I can't believe I started out with one amaryllis bulb.  Now, I have three clumps and they all look like this.  

And, the yellow iris started to bloom.  These came from Boston.  We were there on vacation one spring and people at the shared garden where apartment dwellers can rent a plot were digging and dividing and throwing them on the compost pile.  We took a bunch cut the tops off and brought them home.  They didn't bloom for several years as they adapted to the climate, but they must have acclimated because they bloom every year now.  

Even though things feel less stressful now that there are adults in charge, I'm still appalled at what I see on the news.  Politicians threatening corporations that represent their bread and butter while refusing to even consider anything on the democratic agenda.  Blatantly showing that their only interest is keeping as many people out of the polls as possible because they know they can't win if everyone gets an equal chance. They continue to push myths of lost elections and false oppression down the throats of gullible racists while not doing anything to help those gullible racists get the things they need (like insurance and good paying jobs) that would keep them from feeling oppressed in the first place.   

Okay, so that's enough vitriol for the day, but you sense my frustration.   I knew this would be their idea of "unity" in government...all pretend, just like their political promises and false conservatism.  

Everybody have a great Monday!  It should be a relatively easy week for me, which is good because the next two weeks are gonna be a whole different thing.  May your needle always be sharp!



The new, the old, and the road trip

We took our first road trip since the pandemic began on Saturday.  It was so nice to get out and do something.  We went to Seguin and Geronimo, TX.  We went to a garden center in Seguin, but they didn't have many plants yet.  And, a lot of what they had wasn't tagged and I wasn't in the mood to flag an employee down to ask 'what is this?'.  In the end, I picked up a few houseplants, including a bird's nest fern, we got a new datura (angel's trumpet or Jimson weed, depending on who you ask).   We found ourselves in one of our favorite antique shops, a small family business that we like to support, and their inventory was pretty low.  I looked at Rob and said I wanted to spend some money there, so was there anything he liked?  We found some things.  And, it was nice to chat with the store's cashier, Bonnie.  She remembered us, even through our masks and asked about Syd and we talked about how the lockdown had gone. We only went one place where masks weren't encouraged or required and it was a big enough place that I could socially distance, so it all worked out great!   We enjoyed the ride and talked and laughed, and laughed some more.  It was good to be out.  

I finished the Lily of the Valley block...again.  I took off almost all of the flowers and replaced them.  They're so small that I couldn't re-use them after picking them off.  

 If you asked me while I was doing it, I'd have said I was making a huge difference, tho I'd have had trouble defining exactly what that was other than re-positioning.  When I compare it to the other picture, the one I was so unhappy with, (below) it doesn't really look that much different.  But, there's some subtle difference that really does it for me and makes the one above look much more realistic.  

I have a pattern.  I use it more like a guidebook than a roadmap.  I changed the flower shape, which cut the number of pieces in half and I changed the placement of everything but the leaves.  The next block up is the carnation.  It has quite a few pieces, but I think I'll be able to get through it pretty quickly.  

But before that, I need a baby quilt for the neighbors.  Even though we know it's a girl, we decided to go gender neutral (my first idea was a beautiful pink and off white bit of pretty girl fluff).  I spent some time yesterday looking at baby quilts and decided on one and adapted it to fit what I had on hand.  Pattern publishers beware...the first thing my mentor taught me to do was draft patterns and I am good at it and can just about reproduce any quilt picture into a quilt.  

I wouldn't normally use white in a quilt, but...hey, whatever.  All the colored blocks were in my scrap users system, so I only had to cut the white.  I got the four patches pieced yesterday afternoon and I will need to pick something for the QST pieces that complete the rows, then I'm thinking about bricks around the edges and a narrow border to finish it off.  It's going to be a pretty good sized baby quilt.  

In that antique store we like, I found this.  I wanted to spend money, but not this much money.  It was a cool piece, tho...but it needed a LOT of oil and there's NO ROOM in my collection.  

I spent a good bit of time out in the garden.  I've got everything cleaned up and am working on filling in some spaces.  I should have lifted the stones this year and reset the path, but it can wait til next year.  That part is easiest done in January, before it starts to rain.  There are still quite a few pots to be given away; some white and yellow iris and some seedlings I grew of Texas Star Hibiscus.  

Mock orange blossoms

Real orange blossom.  The oranges and lemons are setting tiny fruit already.  I wonder how many they'll keep?  Usually, just enough for one pitcher of juice.

The white iris have already bloomed.  It wasn't a very good show this year, partly because I dug and divided last year, and partly because of the big freeze.  This is the first colored iris.  They came from Syd's house.  They were so tightly packed in that they were pushing out of the bed, so we helped a couple over those last few inches and brought them home.  

This is the first amaryllis.  It came from the neighbors across the street.  When I used to take care of that flowerbed, I dug one of these up and now I have three clumps.  

So, that's it for me.  It was a big week.  I got to play the hero at work a lot, bailing people out of problems. That always feels good.  I still miss my cat, but that's getting better.  I still have to stop myself in my bed time routine and remember that I don't need to draw up the next day's insulin.  Gardening, sewing, and a job I enjoy...it's not really going to get much better than that.  

Syd came to get some mail last night and ended up staying for dinner.  She's having boyfriend problems.  I'm so glad she feels comfortable coming to us to talk about it.  We were great, of course, letting her talk and not judging.  We talked to her about how sometimes, it's not the right match and that doesn't make either person bad or mean there's anything wrong with them.  It's just not a good match.  And, I shared a story about a past relationship that I hope was helpful.  Overall, it was a good talk and we were good listeners.  

Everybody have a great week!  Do something fun.  Enjoy spring!!