Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Dilly Dallying Around

I bought an upside down tomato planter. I have friends who swear they're the greatest thing since raised beds!! Now, I like the Raised Bed gardening system myself - no bending, fewer weeds, the soil warms up sooner, no bending, no grass to cut when you put it where the lawn used to be & the plants seem to produce better! I like it even better when a trellis system is added to the raised bed so things like cucumbers, tomatoes, pole beans & squashes can grow up instead of on the ground where they're attacked by slugs, bugs & passing feet. So, growing things upside down kinda makes sense. My mother used to pull all the tomato plants - with green tomatoes still attached - out of the garden just before the first frost & hang them upside down from the basement beams. They would ripen slowly & taste absolutely incredible. So the Upside Down planter appealed to me.
Problem was, I didn't put my tomato plants into it till this morning. I put a Beefsteak & a Tiny Tim in there together. I hope they enjoy the experience & reward me
I have a Patio Favorite in the top of my Strawberry Pot with two Everbearing strawberry plants. The strawberries are survivors from the Invasion of the Hen & Chicks. Silly me. I planted ONE chick in the OLD strawberry pot. It reproduced & took over . . .

My Jungle isn't quite sure what season it is. The Ferns are putting out new fronds daily. The strawberries have tripled in size in the last two weeks & are just starting to flower. The early blooming Clematis is only now bursting into bloom - it usually blooms in late March or early April - the first bud opened only this morning - while the Easter Cactus is now bursting into bloom & the Christmas Cactus is setting buds!

On the Knitting Front - Still knitting cuffs for the adopted child. Added a couple more in plain ribbing with a LOOSE cast off so it kind of flares at one end for a slightly different look. Most of the Merino Odd Balls I have knit to a worsted gauge so lace is not an option when working on 32 - 36 sts. Seed stitch, ribbing, simple YO, K2tog are okay as are twisted stitches & cables but since I don't have the wrists in front of me, it's not easy to do cables to fit. But I think she'll be happy with a wardrobe of different colors in simple patterns. If I get into Arm Warmers - well, that's a whole other story!!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Ya Just Gotta Laugh

Last week I tried to get to knitting with the girls & made it to the parking lot after work with my dinner-in-a-box. Just as I was finishing dinner, I got an emergency call & ran off to rescue a friend with a baby locked in the car. She & the mother of the baby do NOT like each other much & it's nothing short of a miracle when said grandchild is ALLOWED out with Granny for an hour or two! So, when the kid got locked in the car, well, no one was gonna tell MOM. Granny has spare keys to the car - in the locked house & spare keys to the house - in the purse which is locked in the car with the baby who is happily playing with Granny's car keys with the automatic door fob. I just happen to have a spare key to the house - sometimes I cuddle with the pooch when Granny goes off for the weekend. Pooch has a doggie door, fenced yard & an automatic food dispenser at his beck & call but needs some cuddling when his Human's away!! Luck was with us last Wednesday, I showed up with the key before the daughter-in-law showed up to claim the kid! And nobody knows but us!!

Just a little shot of my Jungle-in-progress. The big Cedar planter has SIX kinds of ferns in it which die back in the winter & pop up again in the spring. While taking out the garbage, I spotted a couple of fronds peeking out from the moss along the north side of the house. I dug them up & transplanted them to my planter where they seem to be doing just fine. I've seen them before in mossy areas of the local woods. They actually grow up the tree trunks in the moss by sending out runners like strawberries!

On Wednesdays, I work for a Motorcycle School. Action used to be one of TWO in the Lower Mainland, but now, they're popping up all over the place like Magic Mushrooms! One of my last sales of the day was to two best buds who were actually sitting in the Competition's office about 20 miles away when they called me for information. Apparently when they went to sign up, the office person was yakking on the phone. They said they quietly sat there for 34 minutes without even being greeted before calling me. The office person, who still hadn't acknowledged them, was still on the phone when they left to drive all the way to North Langley to see me. And they brought cash!! I just don't know how some people stay in business! Must be a full moon out there . . .

I've finished the wild socks for my buddy Bryan at the Motorcycle School! He wants to wear them in his sneakers when he works in the parking lot this year!
I've also cast on the remainder of the Regia Saturn to make socks for ME. I've used my usual In-my-head pattern of 68 sts, top down, 3" K2,P2 ribbing but decided to do something just a little different this time. On the right front quarter, I've done ( YO, K2tog) 6 times to produce a simple lace pattern. I'll hopefully, do the same on the left front quarter of the other sock to match. I've lost count but I think the Saturn Socks2 will be Pair Number 8 or 9 so far this year . . . . I know it doesn't sound like a lot of socks but hell, Tax Season got in the way & nothing else is finished!! One thing about Retirement - if I can ever afford it - I'll be able to knit & spin a whole lot more!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

I Have a Camera

I can take pictures again!!
Not that my life is so exciting - very unexciting around here since I gave the BT the boot, I tell ya!! But, I think my blood pressure has come down & my bank balance has gone up! But, to
get to the point - I now have a camera. Turns out to be a Video Camcorder. I can take 9 shots without adding an SD chip but no movies unless I add one. Today, I charged everything up - yes, internal battery toooooo - & stuck the camera into my USB hub to unload the pictures of my two latest projects . . . . Yeah, right. Spent the last two hours trying to delete the program that self loaded & sucked up all the BMP, JPEG etc files on my computer. Do you know how many that is??? Even I wasn't aware . . . I have now deleted all the extra files & found the file with the current pictures of the last two projects . . .
Here's a pic of my latest toy!! This was a very tough shot to get since I wanted to show IT not ME. It's the size of a cell phone & does all kinds of nifty things which I will probably never use. That's toy #3 in the past couple of months! Got my KOBO ebook reader, got a personal DVD player - I can play my WALKING CDs again & now this little camcorder. I love the single life . . . . it's the only life for me!!!

I found those two balls of yarn in the Sierra colorway & finished up the socks f
or ME. Fall socks now I guess since Sprummer(Spring/Summer) has finally arrived on the Wet Coast! I loved this colorway when a fellow blogger showed off a project several years ago & got several balls sent to me!! I remember knitting one pair up for a friend's daughter & forgot about the remainder. Well, I found the balls & had to knit a pair of socks for myself right away - the yarn reminds me of an African mud print. I'm not normally attracted to FALL colors because I look like crap in browns, greens, orange & yellow but on the FEET?? Yeah baby! I can wear anything!

My Office Buddy Bryan - brand new daddy of Solana who was three weeks old on Friday - wanted socks for his 34th birthday! He took my Saturn Socks to the hospital with hi
m when Solana was born because he says he freezes in there & I hadn't finished the original pair of WILD socks I started for him. I had no idea he would scarf the Saturn Socks, he was supposed to try them on for size but somehow, they left with him. And the Stinker got two pairs. Oh well, good thing I have enough Saturn to knit myself another pair . . .

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The Camera's on its Way!

So my new camera is on the way & I can't wait to play with another new toy!!! It better hurry up because Bryan's wild red, black & yellow socks are almost done! And I don't want to give them away until I have a camera so he can model them for the Blog! I forgot to get him to model the last ones - I usually don't carry the darned thing but I'll have to get used to doing so if I want the 'ON THE FEET' shots that others remember to get . . .

Still spinning the 'egg' shaped lumps of Brown Sheep mill ends. They're never ending!! The big bobbin on my Indian Spinner is full to overflowing with yarn & I found two more damned lumps to spin! This time, I'm determined to spin it ALL up for once & for all! I won't spin anything else until it's done!!! I think winding yarn onto the niddy noddy is my least favorite job. It's probably because the bobbin is SO big that makes winding off a real chore. I try to make those skeins as big as possible 'cause the old right arm really protests after a marathon winding off. And maybe that's why the bobbin doesn't get emptied as often as it should. Once upon a time, I even bought a skein winder from Don George - he makes lovely things out of wood - but I have nothing I can clamp it to so I can't use it - Great Planning, eh?? So I'm left with the old niddy noddy. And all that winding off . . .

This summer, I am really hoping to get more Craft Time out on the patio!! I have some macrame plant hangers to construct - I bought two baskets of Geraniums at the post Mother's Day Sale - I want to hang two baskets from the same hook. I'm making a simple double hanger so I can try to block the sun in the afternoon. Yeah, I thought about more lattice out there but then I can't hang anything high enough to keep the slugs out. I have a slightly damaged strawberry pot planted with strawberries - heh, the slugs won't climb that thing!!! & I want to hang the Geraniums above it as a sun block. I also got a Topsy Turvey Tomato hanger. The tomato plant hangs upsidedown!! I figure that will help block the sun too. I just may be able to sit out there after work & spin!! See, there is a method to my madness.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

So Hard to DO

I know nothing about cameras. I don't even really like cameras. But, it's hard to post pictures of the latest projects, interests, neat things etc on a Blog without one. So I bit the bullet, checked out my Air Miles points & went in search of something to take pictures with. I decided I wanted a rechargeable battery. And I don't really want to mess around with taking out & putting back a memory card if I'm only taking 2 or 3 pictures! Oh, I really should have a 'smart' camera that can adjust to light & distance because I haven't got a clue - I just try to get my back to the sun & point. I'd like to be able to get in really, really close & take a picture of a bug or a special stitch or a blossom too. Can I really get all this for around 2500 points???

Apparently I can. I ordered a GE Digital HD Video Camera - it even takes movies underwater!! It adjusts for shaky hands. It plugs into the computer to recharge. It takes an SD card or USB thumb drive. You just point & shoot. Yeah baby!! And it only cost me 1200 Air Miles points. Because it's ORANGE.

Friday, May 06, 2011

In Mourning

Today, I realized my camera was dead. I didn't drop it. It didn't go for a swim. Sometime between taking out the dead batteries & replacing them with recharged ones, it quietly clicked it's last. And I didn't even notice. I totally blamed the batteries for not holding a charge. I blamed the batteries for not being as good, second class you know - they're rechargeable. I went out & bought very expensive electronics batteries to replace them. I guess I just couldn't believe it was true. The eye is open but the charge is gone. All the batteries in the world will not make my Kodak digital camera take sock pictures again . . . .

Thursday, May 05, 2011

Leisure Time

I've actually had a little of it lately. Leisure time, that is. Time to sit & sip a cup of tea without paper in hand, on desk, in boxes, stacked, stapled, folded, etc etc. The phone is not ringing as often & I can almost walk into my office again. The FINISHED box rides everywhere in the car again. And the spinning wheel has been outside TWICE since I came back from the Retreat!!! I actually sat in the sun the other day & spun! Still working on finishing the last of the egg shaped knots leftover from the Grab Bag I bought from Sheep Shed Studios several years ago! I love the slight spongy feel of the wool in them. It's soft, a little fuzzy but nice to touch. Reminds me of Polworth in some ways & it just appeals to me, in a very tactile way. And, I do believe, I'm down to the last three bumps. Gotta check the bag again soon, just to make sure they haven't reproduced in there when I wasn't looking!!! I won't even discuss the wool/mohair roving that remains in the bag.

Got the Knit Kimono & Knit Kimono Too books out beside my TV chair & the decision is down to three. The lacy red one on the cover that first caught my eye, the really big 'wave' patterned lace kimono - I do hate the sleeves though or the indigo one with the textured sleeves & yoke that folds at the side. I love the LACE patterns but keep returning to the TEXTURED indigo kimono. It's simplicity, folded detail & subtle texture just gets to me. Mine would not be indigo though - not really sure exactly what I'd do with dye but I am leaning toward turquoise or plum with spots of brighter color. Oh for a warm, sunny summer to dye for!

And one last project
that I'm waiting for a nice, warm day to work on - the felted cover for my new KOBO. I've discovered one bad feature of the KOBO, those buttons on the sides of the frame turn themselves on & off in my bag!!! Every time I go to use the durned thing, the battery's dead. The ON/OFF button on the top rubs against the side of my bag & turns it ON all the time. Ripped the guts out of an unused pocketbook sized Daily Diary with a zip closing that was in the "Donations" box. Unused, regifted, pages out of date!! It has a couple of pockets, a pad of paper for doodles, a pen to doodle with & room for my business cards. It's a little big for the KOBO but I could stuff a Driver's License, Starbucks card, $20 & a sock on a circ in there & go to Starbucks without a purse!!! !t works until I get something felted!!

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

A Day in the Life

It's officially OVER. I'm not talking Wedding or Election - although I could - but, I'm referring to TAX SEASON! Tried to E-file one last return just before midnight but the durned thing closed on me in mid file!!! I cursed but took the hint & went to bed. There's 5 unfinished returns left on the desk. Two will get refunds - no penalty, two always pay because they're always late & not because of me & MINE, which is also always late because I never have time till everyone else's is done! And then there's all the others who show up days & weeks or sometimes months & years, after the fact. Today, I don't care! Today I'm having breakfast OUT. Today I will read a week's worth of papers. Today I will get my mail on time. And later today, I have to take an ON-LINE course in BIDDING for EXCAVATING JOBS.