Tuesday, August 29, 2006
First it was eggs and tomatoes with way too many hot peppers. THEN I discovered (and remembered) that I bought FOUR skeins for the scarf. I am not "almost finished" In. My. Dreams.
On a more soothing note I'm including two photos of one of our favorite dog walks. Nevada county has lots of canals, literally ditches that were originally dug to move water to various mining operations. They are now owned by the NID, which stands for Nevada County Irrigation district. The water is gravity fed to many households. It isn't supposed to be used for drinking but I suspect that many people do. I wouldn't but my mama raised me to be careful. I spent my childhood in Panama which is gorgeous but also has bugs and bacteria that would knock you off your feet.
This particular canal is quite small. Water is shut off via a sluice gate by early winter/late fall. Some of the canals are quite wide and deep. It's a great place to exercise, walk your dog off leash and just enjoy the scenery. This particular canal walk seems to get little usage yet is just 5 minutes away from my home. I've seen turkey, deer, fawns, cats, various birds, squirrels, coyote and raccoon scat and once some mountain lion prints. Now that was a bit awesome. Omar has the chance to run like crazy after various beasties without a chance of catching anything.
Monday, August 28, 2006
While cruising the blogs and links yesterday I went to the Bay Area Knitters site and wandered around a bit. I came across an entry from the yarn store hosting THE YARN HARLOT in twelve days and gosh, space was limited to 200 knitters and would you please RVSP as there were only 30 spaces left. AACCKKKK!!!!
The entry was dated June 20th. Oh my. Trust me, I did not look anything like the human version of Otis. It's Sunday, I can't reach anyone. I fret. I email. Today I called and All Is Well. Whew. Tragedy Averted.
Speaking of Otis he is now getting outdoor visits twice a day. Omar thinks this is great fun and runs his little orange and white furry ass around the yard. Otis is good and ready for his nap by the time I bring him back in. Last night I observed him trying to hump one of the older, male cats. Sigh, it will another three or four months before he will be old enough to neuter. I sense much unhappiness in the local cat population (and one small dog had better be watching his backside too).
I am approaching the finish line with the Irish Hiking Scarf.
One Random Garden Photo. A climbing rose called "Fourth of July". It's a very pretty variegated red and very happy where it is.
Saturday, August 26, 2006
I just plain forgot. I was busy chopping and dicing and making sweet pickle relish. There weren't that many cucumbers so I ended up with only 9 pints. I'm not complaining. I was sincerely tired of chopping. Since I don't eat a lot of relish it should last me for the coming year.
In a fit of insomnia last night I knitted away on my Irish Hiking Scarf and am now into the final skein. I'm still liking it a lot. I think I've decided who I will give it to but I'm not telling - yet. I've been glancing at my unfinished socks and am feeling ready to finish them up. My hubby asked what a katcha-katcha was. I learned about this very useful device when reading Valerie's blog. It's a "handy, compact knitting counter. Wear it like a pendant." I'm still looking for the right piece of ribbon to hang it on. I'm using a bit of Koigu at the moment which works but isn't quite right either.
One of the things that I did today was make some bookmarks. I am always losing mine. I leave them in personal books; I leave them in library books; they fall down between the cushions. Who knows where they all go. Maybe they hang out with the lost socks. There is probably a secret place they all go to and giggle. A few weeks ago I took some photos of hubby while he was reading a cool book, "The Road to Reality" and then I had him take a couple of me. I did a little editing of the background and voila! We have bits of brightly colored card stock to stick between the pages. Now I want some with fur baby images.
RANDOM GARDEN PHOTOS AND ONE EYE CANDY IMAGE
A hanging begonia. The history behind this plant is that I originally bought a mixture of colors but they were all orange. The next year I stuffed in various other colors and I had a red bloom. This year I added some white corms and... I have red, I have orange. I love gardening. It is never boring.
A geranium, Mrs Cox and a gerbera (Transvaal daisy)
A verbena. No, a lantana, no a verbena. Heck, I have no idea and I'm not wandering outside and searching for a label.
I seem to still be on a cool weather streak with my eye candy offerings. This photo was taken around Christmas a few years back. It's just a short distance from where we found Otis on June 1st. Most of the land belonged (might still) to Beale Air Force Base which is why it was never developed. It's a lovely place to hike if you don't mind ticks. The area is interspersed with private farms, an old silver mine and lots of geocaches. There is also a great river with good fishing and a rather nice waterfall about 3 miles in from the dirt road. In the spring the wildflowers are fantastic. We don't tend to hike there during hunting season. Those boys just have to shoot their guns and not just where it's legal. Too damn scary for us folks and a pity since it's too hot in the summer for hiking or bike riding.
Wednesday, August 23, 2006
I can feel it in the water. I can feel it in the air. Summer is winding down. I'm busy cutting dead flowers and foliage in the garden, picking the last of the cucumbers (I'll make sweet relish this time I think). We're predicted to have another heat wave soon but already the days are noticeably shorter. My thoughts are moving towards fall and winter. We need more kindling. The wood we had delivered needs to be moved to the wood pile. There bigger logs need splitting. I'm finding squirrels planting acorns around the garden and in the raised beds. Soon I will start up my winter crops: Beets, carrots, sugar peas, lettuce. Projects started and left unfinished now need assessment and many things must be compressed into the next month or two at the most. One never knows when the rains will start and we'll start the wood burning stove up again. I've been knitting away at my Irish Hiking scarf. I am not quite half way though. The alpaca is very smooth and pleasant to work with. The pattern is easy but diverse enough that I haven't become bored. I find that my katcha-katcha helps so much with keeping track of the rows. While photographing the scarf something jumped and I found this little fellow enjoying the greenery. S/he has this lovely little bar of gold above each eye.
I'm of the opinion that if you're a cat and IF you manage to get just the right owner life cannot be any better. After a very rough start I think that Otis is now just where he should be.
Hubby came home a day early. I am ecstatic!
Monday, August 21, 2006
My Irish Hiking Scarf is about doubled in length from yesterday's photo. It's an easy pattern and for cable rather simple. I'm not very experienced at knitting cable but this pattern only has you doing cable every eighth row and only three times during the row. Still, it works and it's fun to knit. I'm just about through the first of the three balls of alpaca. Like all knitting if you zone out you zoom past the pattern and then have to tink back.
Today I added a Flickr button to the right of my blog. I will say outright: I have HTML anxiety. I've read a bit about it, it's logical, it makes sense and when faced with a page of code I panic. I seem to have lost my profile information though it was there when I previewed things - honest. (It appears then disappears. It's a mystery.) Who knows. I will have to figure things out at some point - or not. I've loaded lots of photos to Flickr including this photo below. For some time now I've had an urge to knit a person. Just knit away using odds and ends of wool on large needles. I will felt at some point then add on, embellish, crochet, poke holes, sew things on etc. Just an idea I have in my head. Eventually I will probably treat it so that it will stand (or sit) unaided. Stay tuned. I'll be posting photos of my progress.
RANDOM GARDEN PHOTO
A close-up of a hardy banana leaf. I like that it had one or two small holes breaking up the pattern.
Sunday, August 20, 2006
I ask myself: what is different with hubby being away? Actually, very little. There is the obvious - I sleep in the middle of the bed. Hubby will tell you that I try to do that even when he's here and I'm almost famous for my cover stealing abilities. It's a natural talent. I once had a boyfriend who actually sewed elastic along one side of our coverlet and hooked it to nails on the wall. That way when I finally did loosen my death grip the coverlet would spring back.
I leave my swift and ball winder up. I tend to do that regardless but I feel much less guilt about it. Well, not really guilt. I find guilt to be vastly overrated but I sometimes think, gosh, maybe I should clean up a little. I also leave many piles of various projects in progress. Knitting, sewing, books, magazines - it takes a lot to keep me amused. I've also noticed that I'm using hubby's bathroom for things like my hiking boots and garden shoes.
I've been working on my Irish Hiking Scarf for the knitalong. It called for size 8's but all of mine were busy or had ends that had been chewed so I cast on with 9's. It's a little loose but it feels and looks okay. I bought a kacha-kacha (I love it!) and a second "knit chek" while I was buying yarn for the scarf. I like to have two of things. My mother likes to have two of everything so I think I'm at the mercy of both my genes and my nurturing.
Otis has changed from being a fragile little kitten to a muscular, self assured cat-lin (not quite a kitten and not quite an adult). I can only admire a cat's ability to sleep with total commitment and apparently, no bones either!
Friday, August 18, 2006
My beloved left yesterday for a week of cruising the backroads of California. I miss him a lot when he's gone but I also enjoy my time alone. I lunch with friends, work on my projects, talk on the phone and send a lot of emails. Wait, that sounds like my regular day. I have a couple of secret projects at the moment that I hope to talk about soon too. I also go to the yarn store for solace. He just looks so much cooler on his bike than I do.
I recently joined an Irish Hiking Scarf knitalong. Well, I need new yarn, right? I bought some Classic Elite Inca Print 100% alpaca. It is so soft. I was thinking of buying a lovely variegated ruby colored yarn from Mountain Colors but they only had the one skein and that was not enough for the scarf. I spent a fair amount of time fondling the baby yarns and thinking of items to knit for my recently married friends. I just have this feeling. They are crazy for all things purple so that will be my theme.
EYE CANDY FRIDAY
Sundara, on her blog, Purly Whites, proposed that Friday becomes Eye Candy Day and that bloggers post photographs of pretty things. Weather.com has predicted that things will be getting hotter next week so I though I would dig into my photo stash and post some pictures of what things look around here in the fall when it's nice and cool. We can't rival the fall colors of the eastern part of the country but the oaks do a nice job and there are a few maples too. The pond at the moment looks quite different. Beavers have built a dam where the water flows in and the water level has dropped.
Wednesday, August 16, 2006
I noticed that I haven't been posting lately because I really didn't have much knitting content to show. I do love it when I turn around and realize that I've been puttering through my life according to my self imposed "Rules of Living" and that they have nothing to do with anything other than stuff that needs to fall out of my head. I had to remind myself that the reason I called my blog "EverythingEarin" was that I wanted to blog about many of my various activities. I was originally inspired by the knitting blogs I had been reading (face it ladies and gents, you are pretty fascinating) and knitting is certainly a huge interest but I do a lot of other things. One is to make up the summer dress with godets a second time. I love the phase, "I learned SO much making this". Read: it was a major pain in the ass; I hadn't a clue to what I was doing, and it is now crumpled in a heap in the furthest corner of my closet. Okay, it wasn't really that bad but it didn't turn out as well as I liked. I found that the lining just made it all too thick and stiff. Out with the lining. I developed my own way using a hot iron, good arm pressure and some clever stitching to get the godets in while singing "I did it MY WAY!!!". This second round is going so much more smoothly and I may actually end up with a dress that I will wear This Summer. How cool is that?
Otis continues to thrive and being the only unfixed (for now) male in the house (hubby excluded) he is driving all of us crazy. He is now getting outdoor sessions. He runs around for joy and when he gets out of sight he cries piteously. The second thing he did yesterday was run up a tree and cry for help. Just about the time I was starting to worry he hopped down and ran off after a leaf. My dad used to say that you didn't find too many cat bones up in trees.
I am down to the toe decrease on the second hubby sock and to be honest with you none of this is sounding all that familiar. Perhaps that I finally fell asleep around 5 am and was up around 10 has something to do with it. I had hoped to wrap this up, slap it on my darling's feet and show you a TA DA! photo before my motorcycle loving darling hit the road for a week long trip on his bike.
RANDOM GARDEN PHOTOSA few blogs back I showed a lovely photo of grapes clustered delightfully as we waited for them to come fully ripe. I mentioned that we've never actually managed to get any grapes for various reasons. I headed out this afternoon ready to cut them down and found that yet again we are grapeless. The raccoons did leave us these three sad little guys. Thankfully we have other grapes now covered in protective netting. It's a dangerous world out there in Garden Land.
And the second round of figs are now coming ripe. Raccoons, birds, rabbits and foxes all love them too. There are so many that we all manage to be happy.
Sunday, August 13, 2006
Even when you're retired the weekends always seem different. I think one of the reasons weekends are shifted from our regular day to day lives is that it is when most of our friends are able to visit. This weekend Kate came up from San Bruno and we had a wonderful time. I met Kate years back when she joined the Morris team I was on, Mayfield Morris and Sword. We also share a deep lust and love for all things Clint. We next plan to meet up in Sept. to go see the Yarn Harlot in Los Altos. (We are very excited!)
Since it is Alfred Hitchcock's birthday we watched several of his movies - Vertigo, Frenzy and part of Psycho, and part of Marnie (not my favorite even though Sean Connery is to die for). Today we unglued our bottoms from the couch (and you were wondering just what that sound was) and went dirt bike riding. Kate rode on the back of hubbie's Honda 650 and I brought up the rear on my 230. Hubby had lowered the seat for me some time back and wow, what a difference it makes to be able to get both feet on the ground. I am usually the one taking photographs but I asked Kate to take one of me. You'd recognize me anywhere, right?
Friday I had two skeins of sock yarn arrive from Sundara. It just made me feel good to open the box and see them nestled there. I whipped out my Laura Bush Vintage Sock book (after winding up one skein on my new swift), checked my gauge (sort of) and did a test run of a few inches on a pair of heeless sleeping socks. I've promised myself that I would finish up a few other things first but I really, really, really wanted to see how the yarn knitted up. It's just a beautiful combination of soft colors and just ideal for the project I have in mind.
RANDOM GARDEN PHOTOS
My heirloom corn from the mid 1860's has come ripe. So far I haven't been that impressed. It seems startchy and gummy. I've decided to let it ripen completely and dry out then I'll try grinding it for corn bread and polenta. I like the whole concept of heirloom varieties but there is sometimes a very good reason why something stopped being grown. Both the heirloom beans and the squash have been non producers. Lots of nice greenery but no beans, no squash. No, it's not from too much fertilizer either.
A red coleus. A few years back I picked a small sprig off of a plant in a nursery and rooted it. It's a nice shade of red that changes dramatically depending on how much light the plant gets. Every fall I take a few cuttings and keep it alive over the winter.
Thursday, August 10, 2006
A few blog entries back I said something amazingly stupid along the line of how easy the second hubby sock was coming along. I obviously offended the Goddess of Knitting. After an initially easy start it was one thing after another and none of them Positive. This peaceful little guy ripped, tore, shredded, unraveled and chewed the sock. I swear, he hunted it down. All on my own I managed to drop stitches, not get them back on the needles correctly, lost track of where I was, who I was and what the heck I was doing.It appears that I have turned the corner and the heel on my bad fortune. I had a very kind hearted offer of HELP from Marilyn of The Knitting Curmudgeon. However, I felt that I wanted to give the sock one more try. After all, I did manager to turn the heel and finish the first sock pretty much true to the pattern. Hopefully Marilyn will let me have a raincheck for help on a future project.For my birthday (notice how I'm still talking about my birthday?) I received many a nice thing. One thing, a cutter, I rather overlooked. At first I thought it was a broach. After all, it clips on and has a nice little picture of yarn and needles. Suzy, the giver of this very cool item, told me it was for cutting yarn. It's safe, you can't cut yourself without a huge amount of effort and you can take it on airplanes. I have stopped digging around in the bottom of my knitting bag when I need to cut something and just snip my yarn off with this darling item. Trey wonderful!RANDOM GARDEN PHOTOS
A bouquet of zinnias. Last year I saved seeds from my favorite zinnias and have been duly rewarded by massive amounts of flowers like these. The colors are just amazing.
A true amaryllis (Brunsvigia rosea) called "Naked Lady" because it put out greenery in the spring which then dies back completely. In August the leafless stems push up and lovely pink trumpet like flowers emerge. You have to be careful when you transplant the bulbs though because if you do so at the wrong time you won't get any flowers for at least two years. Don't ask me when is the right time. I can't remember. Even my Sunset Western Gardening book dithered and said "if moved at the wrong time". Ha! I do recall a Sunset article years ago on the culture of this plant and when NOT to move the bulbs. I guess they didn't bother to research their own files. To the right are some yarrow and in the background a Mexican sunflower called "Torch".
Saturday, August 05, 2006
This photo would strike terror into the hearts of anyone living in the country. It's our well. It is our well in pieces. Well in Pieces = No water. Nada. For some time now we've been experiences water problems. Always in the summer as the water table drops (no aquifers in the Sierra foothills that I know of). The occasional house guest has come out of the shower dripping wet and covered in soap saying, "There is NO WATER!" With our last electric bill (the one where we had to lie down on the floor after looking at the total amount due) we decided to finally get a pro out and see what could be done.
It was decided that our pump was seriously dying. So a new pump was ordered along with a controller. This will keep the pump from straining away, using up precious (expensive) electricity when there isn't any water.
I thought this would all translate into scads of water but alas no. We have water but...only so much at a time. I guess there is a trade off for having quiet nights, starry skies, no next door neighbors, (we don't even have curtains), owls hooting and deer eating your roses. Actually, I think you can have deer even in urban areas. And we all have coyotes believe it or not. Coyotes are very adapted to urban environments.
Another kind of terror of sorts was when we went to see Al Gore's "An Inconvenient Truth". If you haven't seen it yet, please, please, please do so. He isn't heavy handed at all but the information he lays out is stunning. Now I hate to admit that though I recycle, turn lights off, don't let the water run and so forth (I went to UC Santa Cruz after all) I've been more of the mindset of "We're doomed - there isn't much that little old me can do to affect the outcome". WRONG! I walked out of the theater thinking, "Do I really want to be a person WHO DIDN'T EVEN TRY?". Go see it. It's important.
RANDOM GARDEN PHOTOS A purple dahlia. They really don't do all that well in the garden so out they go at the end of the year. I am heartless. Wave bye-bye!
My hardy banana with the millet in front. I just love them both. They are surprisingly easy to grow.
Thursday, August 03, 2006
No, not that kind of stash - FABRIC stash. We did a quick run into town today for odds and ends. I went into the fabric store while hubby did a bank run. They were having a 50% off sale. Gee, and me with serious time constraints. Never Fear! See EE grab bolts! See EE make piles! See EE whip out her credit card! And the sale runs till Tuesday. Heheheheheehe. I. Am. Doomed.Having lots of fabric stash is very much like having a huge stash of yarn. You just have a feeling that all is right with the world. You're okay somehow. For some serious stashes go look here. Trust me, you'll either decide you're okay or know you've got a lot of company with the same sort of storage problem.
The Demonic Duo continue to run around the house creating havoc as they pass. I've taken to hanging up my knitting bags and keeping my projects in ziplock bags that remain zipped when not in use. It helps. A. Little. I was thinking of how much time I've spent getting yarn untangled, the hubby sock stitches back on the needles and just sigh. The hubby sock No. 2 is still waiting for the heel to be turned (again).In the meantime I continue to find things like this:
Otis and Omar have a routine where Otis knocks things off the tables and shelves and Omar chews them up. You can't tell by looking at it but the tape measue (Sorry Suzy) had a session with Omar recently. How he managed to pull the whole thing out is beyond me.
Random Garden Photos
One of the long term plans I hatched for the garden was for a very pretty silvery blue morning glory to wind its way through the pineapple sage. The sage, which I bought for a dollar at the local Growers Market a few years ago, is HUGE. It will eventually reach 6 or 7 feet and burst into a mass of red flowers in late summer. Not bad for a buck. Today I noticed that one lone morning glory had reached the summit and cried out in joy! I Bloom! Therefore I AM!