Sunday, December 25, 2005

Merry Christmas, ya'll

Hi Cathy, Naomi and Ellen,
I hope you are well, warm and enjoying the companionship of your loved ones on this blessed day!

As some of you know, Den & I gave up most of the trappings of Christmas several years ago. It was not an easy thing to do and ruffled the tail-feathers of a number of people we care about. At that time, the only traditions we salvaged were the Christmas meal with our family and Christmas stockings which we stuff with small gifts and fruit. These stockings are very special because my mother knitted one for each of us. To give that tradition up would be to waste a true labor of love. Here is a picture. They are embellished with sequins and small bells. We cherish ours.

During the year I contemplate Christmas and its true meaning. This is always growing as I learn more about the mysteries of Christ's birth and all the attending events: the ancient prophecies, the angels visiting the shepherds, the quest of the Magi, their enigmatic gifts and so much more. Certainly it is a time to set aside for commemoration and celebration, but what forms should these take? Culturally, there would be similarities with all in our society. But I think many struggle to find what is genuine and meaningful and are burdened by all that is not. This year I went to my, Quotable Lewis, an Encyclopedic Selection of Quotes from the Complete Published Works of C. S. Lewis. I was hoping to find ennobling thoughts about the way we celebrate Christmas. I was surprised. There were only 3 selections under the heading of "Christmas". Each expressed the same sentiment. This quote from, "Letters to an American Lady" is representative.
"I feel exactly as you do about the horrid commercial racket they have made out of Christmas. I send no cards and give no presents except to children."
Hummm. This has been a problem much longer than I suspected.

For Den and me, the objective at this time of year is to find ways to commemorate and celebrate the birth of Christ that are genuine. We never gave up giving, we just found other outlets. This year we did a number of new things that we will weave in to our lives as traditions. One was the Evening Prayer and quiet meditation time at St. John's. That was replenishing to the spirit at this hectic time. Being bell-ringers for the Salvation Army was another activity we enjoyed. We started observing Advent for the first time. We ordered a copy of Watch for the Light: Readings for Advent and Christmas and read from it, not daily, but often. It is always enjoyable to receive the insights of great thinkers. Cathy and Ellen, the concerts you give with Voces Angelorum are "not to be missed"! I'm sure the search will grow and change each year. The quest continues. I would love to hear what ya'll find true and meaningful at Christmas time.

Ellen, I'm looking forward to hearing about your trip. Especially about new yarn for your stash and the Moscow Cat Theater.

Sharon

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Here they are

The four completed scarfs. The color is a bit off. My computer whiz daughter says I need to upgrade my digital camera. The wall behind is blue, not brown. LtoR the scarfs are black fancy fur, purple or brown variegated fancy fur, black boa with a little silver and pink variegated fancy fur. It may sound strange that I am not sure of the brown or purple. I thought it was purple in the store, at home it looked brown, now it looks purple again. May have to do another one and find someone colorblind to give this one to.(And I call myself an artist and have always had a good eye for matching colors, like singers have a good ear for music, but it is slipping.) They are all Bernat yarns and I am working on one more that is black with small blue yarn balls randomly scattered. I cropped the picture in another program and saved it but apparently the crop did not hold or something so please excuse the background clutter.
Christmas shopping and grocery buying is almost complete, wrapping yet to do. I am in the process of putting my tree up today. I will dismantle it either Epiphany or Valentine's Day or Easter. A former daughter in law sent me a small live fir decorated with angels which I have in the kitchen. Directions say I can repot it in a larger pot for future Christmases or plant it outside. I am leaning towards the pot and keeping it on the kitchen porch.
Back to knitting, I have a baby blanket and a shawl in progress. I want to crochet a scarf for a friend who is bereaved but I have to get the yarn, nothing in my stash is appropriate. I believe Walmart has Homespun yarn. If not, maybe Janet's.
Only four days until Christmas. Where did the time go? But I really don't get the Christmas spirit until Christmas Eve.

Cheers. Naomi

Monday, December 19, 2005

Ellen and her musical debut on the radio

For those of you that do not know this (shhhhhh - Ellen does not know that I am blogging this) - Ellen reads for the Radio Reading Service.

The Radio Reading Service of the Public Broadcast Center provides a service to people in the community who are unable to use printed materials due to visual impairment or physical disability. Funded by the Florida Department of Education, the service employs community volunteers to read local newspapers, magazines and other printed material over a special radio station.

Ellen decided to add an extra kick to her reading today. She sang some of the editorial jingles in Tallahassee Democrat. If you go to this page:
http://www.fsu.edu/~wfsu_fm/rrs/index.htm

Go to Monday's Democrat - and go to about 46 minutes - you will hear Christmas music with a political slant. You are in for a real treat!
The political tunes are not necessarily those of Ellen's but are what are written on the editorial page of the Tallahassee Democrat. Don't hold her responsible for some of the lyrics - she is merely the messengervocalist.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Rainy Day Activity

Hey Cathy, Ellen and Naomi,
Cold and rainy all day long. Blechk! Denny and I decided to make brownies. I go through phases with brownies. Kind of on a brownie quest. For a while I preferred cakey ones. Lately it's fudgey. Here is the recipe for the brownies we baked today. They're really good. Den threw in an extra handful of chocolate chips and we used some of the Elliot pecans my dad shared with us. Then Den was inspired to add a teaspoon of vanilla. We've made this recipe before, the vanilla was a nice addition. We had a cup of coffee, a couple of brownies and enjoyed the rain.

Cathy, I love the Dancing Grannies. They're funky and jazzy, it's hard to believe they come from a traditional pattern. Ellen, your sweater is lovely. Great color on you and looks like a good fit, too.

I have been working on the Noro hat off and on...had to rip it out three times. I got a mobius loop in it twice and messed up the knitting the third time. On the positive side, I got to try 3 different cast-ons ;-) Like the brownies, I'm on a cast-on quest. At first I tried the knitted cast-on, next the long tail cast-on (Sally Melville, in her book, The Knitting Experience, Purl Stitch, suggests estimating yarn length for long-tail cast-on for a hat as 2.5 times the circumference of your head...it was right on), the last was the reverse e-wrap. For the Noro hat, it seemed like the first 2 created too thick an edge for this hat. The reverse e-wrap, though a booger to knit the first row, was just right to begin this hat. To avoid a mobius loop you have to make sure all the cast-on stitches are lined up straight when you knit the first row. If there is a twist, it keeps knitting in a twist. I am using Noro Kureyon 90. The picture on the left shows the twist. The one below shows the colors better. I love this yarn. The best price for it is at Little Knits
Kureyon felts well and is the original yarn for the Booga Bag. I wish I could stock up for a ton of projects.
Well, it looks like I stayed up way too late again...it's 2:35 ahoy Hope I can make it to Sunday School in the morning...AAAH!
Sharon

Friday, December 16, 2005

Broken promise

Ellen, Cathy and Sharon,
I promised myself I would not blog until I had time to take a picture of the completed scarfs but I can't wait. I have to rave about Ellen's sweater and Amaryllis. They are both beautiful. I have seen Cathy's Dancing Grannies hat and her other hat plus her socks and now that she is free of school for a couple of weeks I am sure she will be taking pictures. I finished the last of the scarfs last night and I have to shoot them this weekend as I will ship most of the scarfs Monday via UPS. And I am continuing to work on the grey variegated shawl.
In a moment of temporary insanity I agreed to be treasurer of the ECW for the president who is a friend. I declined previously. And of course this week I had to prepare a financial statement and create a proposed 2006 budget from the figures we arrived at in executive session. It goes before the general membership tomorrow. Some of the old biddies can argue for hours on spending 10 cents. Makes it hard sometimes to maintain ones religion.
Finished my Christmas shopping today except for one item. I went to Walmart to get that one and they had no electric carts available so I have to try again. Sue, from Tallahassee, is coming up tomorrow for lunch at Old Mexico and I am looking forward to the visit with her. We first met in 1964. Cheers. Naomi

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Picture Time!




Dear Cathy, Naomi, and Sharon - Here are the booties, and my Christmas amaryllis, "Chico." I love living in a climate where you can plant the annual amaryllis in the garden and enjoy it for several years. They do need periodic dividing, though, or they will just stop blooming.

Cathy, you gave me too much credit for working on one project at a time. Right now I have on needles: 2 socks (from different pairs) and a hat to go with the booties. There is also a scarf that is all knit but only half assembled. (Why would anyone knit a scarf that needs to be put together?) In the queue are a baby blanket using this pattern, an Elsepeth Lavold Silky Wool tank top, a Zephyr lace shawl, and lots of socks. Of course, these knitted balls may jump right to the front of the line.

I loved your commentary on gauge. I usually have the opposite problem of things turning out too large because I have a very relaxed attitude toward knitting. Have you seen this blogger's exercise in swatching? This woman doesn't have a relaxed attitude toward anything, and must have way too much energy.

Gotta flit! See you tonight, Cathy.

Ellen

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Got Gauge? Lesson Learned

Ellen,
Your zephyr sweater is lovely - I admire your ability to remain on one project at a time. I would bet in the blog world you are a minority. So, all 3 of the people that might read this blog outside of us folks that officially blog - do you work on more than one project at a time or stick to just one?
Now Naomi and Sharon, did you notice....
When Ellen travels, she is never far from a yarn shop. She's a yarn magnet -- that or she either strategically plans her travels around the nearest yarn shop.

Of course, unlike Ellen, I am much less disciplined and have many projects going on - one is being kept under wraps until further notice. However, a baby blanket it coming along nicely, along with a quick diversion of this:


Dancing Grannies is the name of this pattern and it was quite fun. However, there is a little problem. No Granny will be able to wear this hat unless the Granny is about 4 years old. Wouldn't one think if you knitted a Dancing Granny hat, that it would be for an adult?
Well, one must follow the directions better and FOLLOW THE GAUGE... let's do the math...

12 or 13 sts per 4 inches
cast on 72 stitches
So....the circumference should be about.... 24 inches around... correct?

Well.... if I had done my homework, I would KNOW I had 14 stitches per 4 inches so that would give me a circumference around the hat of about 20 inches which is WHY it won't fit on my head.

ANOTHER FACTOR: It called for bulky yarn... I used worsted, BUT I DID double the yarn, so that should have done it. NOPE, it's all in the gauge.
Next time... use larger needle... check gauge... check gauge... check gauge....

Interested in pattern?? Check here - did a Google search going back to pattern to link to this blog - typed in dancing granny knit - and whoa... 1st link was an EYE OPENER -

Knit group tonight was small but good - there were 4 of us and I got some good tips from Martha on socks. All I can say is that the Socks that Rock yarn is living up to its reputation! WOW!
Cathy

Zephyr is Complete!



Dear Cathy, Naomi, and Sharon - I am so happy to report a finished project: the Zephyr top is ready to wear. It is knitted with two strands of 2/18 Zephyr on #8 needles, using this pattern. I love Knitty.com; the patterns I've tried have been reliable and imaginative, and the articles are informative. I would like to try this pattern, but I'm not ready to commit too far into the future.

Last night I made one bootie for a friend's newly-adopted baby girl. Nobody had one-bootie syndrome, though, because they are so cute you can't wait to finish both. The pattern is from Last Minute Knitted Gifts by Hoverson, but I have redone the cuff instructions because in three tries I have never been able to make the printed instructions work. There has to be a mistake.

Cathy, we missed you last night at Sawmill Academy, but I understand that it is a long drive for a short concert. There were at least seven absent singers (that could be a verse of the 12 days of Christmas) because of sickness, exams, or other commitments. We sang a lot of Christmas carols and songs with the girls, and only about 5 of our own pieces.

Between Christmas and New Years Gary and I are going to New York to visit Camille and Alexa. On the last night we are staying near Alexa on Long Island at an inn that she says is a stone's throw from a knitting shop. The other highlight of the trip will be attending the Moscow Cats Theatre. We'll probably add a museum or two.

Gotta get started on my Christmas cards.

Ellen

Thursday, December 08, 2005

AAARRGH, Mateys

G'day Ellen, Cathy and Naomi,
Thanks for the warm welcome aboard the good ship Plays with Pointy Things. Following the nautical theme, I'm trying to get my sea legs around here.

I'm looking forward to the concert by Voces Angelorum this evening. Wish the weather was better. Good luck with work, Ellen. I used to be the clerk for my little town of Brinson and was responsible for the finances (though technically the Council was, but you know how that goes). It was an interesting but sometimes frustrating job. Brinson is so small (pop. 225), I doubt its budget would even show up as a blip next to the State of Florida's.

This morning my mind has been rummaging through memories of events of the past year. It was a year ago, almost to the day, when I awoke to an interview with Charles Witmer on WFSU. He was promoting the Christmas concert for Voces Angelorum. Most of the time the radio doesn't even register when it first goes off. I'm too drowsy. But I think this was fate. Attending that concert, I reconnected with Cathy after having drifted apart for a few years. An existing friendship rebloomed. In turn, this led me back to the Episcopal Church and the wonderful congregation at St. John's, where both Cathy and Naomi attend. This led to the Prayer Shawl Ministry, learning to knit and the knitting group...new friends (Ellen among them) and a new hobby. Most oddly, now I'm a blogger! I guess that's why they call it the "web of life". Somehow everything is connected. Though I doubt that is a nautical term!

Blogging has led to a peculiar urge...to carry my camera with me at all times. Now I have to figure out how to post photos. No! No! Don't anyone tell me (yet anyway). There is a little icon up top I'm going to try.

Hope to see you this evening,
Sharon

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Yo, Sharon!

Cathy, Naomi, Sharon -
Have you ever noticed how often you get "welcomed aboard" when you start a new job, even if it is hundreds of miles from any body of water? I guess it is just another of those nautical terms that came ashore and joined common parlance. One of the most entertaining features of the Jack Aubrey books (by Patrick O'Brien) is how they reveal the nautical roots of so many common expressions. Anyway, welcome aboard our little blogship, Sharon. She's a good one, by and large (which is another nautical term.)

Last night I saw progress on a projects that had become a source of guilt and self-loathing. The Zephyr pullover is complete, except for working in the loose ends and final blocking. It is so soft and light that I may not get to wear it until next spring, and if one of the cats decides to give me a clawful hug while I'm wearing it I doubt it will survive.

Cathy, the colorful baby blanket is beautiful. It is very tropical, too. Is the nursery done up in parrots and vines?

I am getting my Christmas present today: a new dishwasher should be installed when I get home! The old one has not gotten the dishes very clean for years and I'm excited about the prospect of washing dishes only once. I'll give you a customer review after I've used it for a few weeks.

Speaking of reviews, I've seen two movies since I last posted. Kiss, Kiss, Bang, Bang is a funny, smart parody of the hard-boiled detective movie. It has its moments of violence, but the whole movie is so entertaining that I was not offended. Robert Downey, jr. is wonderful, and the rest of the cast is on the same level. Walk the Line has great acting and music, but I thought it was painfully long. The "redemptive power of music and a good woman" theme is getting tiresome, even if it is true in this case. The movie is worth seeing for Reese Witherspoon and the music, but I don't think it's the best movie of the season.

I'm very hopeful about making it to the concert on Thursday, but it depends on the Florida Legislature. If the special session has not adjourned I'll have to be at work in case I'm needed for some property tax issue. Hope that doesn't happem, and that I'll see you all tomorrow night.

Ellen

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Welcome Sharon

Sharon and I met throught he Artists Guild almost 20 years ago and she is multitalented and involved in many things.
Last night I listened to the three Scottish tenors while I tried to finish the 2nd scarf for Christmas giving. I did not quite finish as during the more spirited musical numbers I found myself using the knitting needle as a baton keeping the beat. I may not be able to sing but I can keep time. I finished it today while watching Baryshnikov and Gelsey in the Nutcracker on PBS and am almost half way with the third one. I have to shop for beads to finish them and then I will post pictures.
The baby blanket is on hold right now. The mother-to-be is having problems and I suppose I am afraid to go on at this time.
The grey shawl is progressing slowly but once I finish the Christmas presents I will finish it.

I am excited that Voces Angelorum will be singing in my backyard Thursday night. The church has an elevator I believe, must figure out how to get to it as the steps are out of the question right now.
Naomi

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Warm Welcome

A most hearty welcome to Sharon who just posted on our blog. I have known Sharon for many years, and know she has many talents!

And, her taste in music is quite good since she likes the music of John Rutter!

Tomorrow our group, Voces Angelorum, will be singing in the state capitol building in Tallahassee. The acoustics in there are glorious to sing in as it rings throughout the long halls of the old building.

On the needles, I have a baby blanket I am trying to move through quickly. It's easy to memorize, and I can go lickety split on it. It's just the size that takes the time! The picture you see has three colors. There is now pastel pink and I am almost through with that color now, getting ready to add another color. Now I need to think of what direction of color I want to go! Hmmmmm --- decisions decisions!
Also on the needles is a sock with Lorna's Laces Lorikeet colorway. Picture will be forthcoming soon!

New Here

Hi Cathy, Ellen and Naomi,
Thanks for inviting me to be a part of your blogging world. We all have a lot in common...knitting, gardening, reading for a start. I am not a singer, but choral music is a big favorite of mine. Ellen and Cathy, you know what a big fan I am of Voces Angelorum! Right now I'm listening to Christmas Night: Carols of the Nativity, by the Cambridge Singers, directed by the inimitable John Rutter....so sweet! My DH got our stereo back up this evening. It's been about 2 years out of commission. I do have a boom-box, but I didn't realize how much I missed the system Dennis rigged up for us. It is wonderful to be able to be able to hear the clarity, depth & detail - just in time for the Christmas Season.

This is partially a test post.
So here goes....
Sharon
Swooning over the music

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Rainy Days

Ellen and Cathy,
After the summer's drought the rain is most welcome. The plants are also appreciative and in this area agriculture is a big business so the farmers are grateful.

Ellen, your pictures from your Washington trip were great. What an impressive sight the Arum must be. Thanks for sharing with us.

I finished one scarf fo the bazaar and it actually sold. Last night I finished a second scarf for a grandson's girlfriend of six years. I used Bernat's Boa (fou-fou) yarn and 17 needles. One down, four to go as the granddaughters and Tommys' girlfriend of two years are also receiving a scarf knitted by Nonnie. Pictures will be forthcoming. The blanket for the great grandbaby is on hold right now as there are possible complications and I need to regroup before I can start back on that one. Yes I am one of those scatter brained individuals who has several projects underway at the same time.

Cathy, the shawl you are knitting for Kit's grand is looking great. The bright colors are delightful.

No therapy or appointments today so I have scheduled myself for housework. As usual I am procrastinating.
Cheers, Naomi

Friday, November 25, 2005

Surprise

Ellen and Naomi,

This week has gone so quickly, but I am delighted that finally, today, Friday, I was able to knit and complete the following:



The two socks are definitely different and I believe that Ellen pointed that this was a possibility that this could happen.... do you see it??

Now... Ellen went on a little jaunt and lo and behold the yarn magnet seemed to attract this and I am now the proud owner of this:
Ellen surprised me with this Tuesday evening - Koigu 100% merino. It's exciting because this is my first solid sock yarn so am on my way to finding the perfect sock pattern that has a pattern to it that will show off this nice blue color. Think I have a nice pattern by Jean Townsend that I will try. I am a member of an email list where she shares her patterns. Can't wait to get started, however, I have a couple of projects that are screaming at me to work on NOW. Babies that are due in the near future seem to come when they are ready, and I don't want these babies to arrive before their blanket(s) are created. However, I DO know I can carry a sock around, where blankets are a little more challenging in the portability department. Thanks Ellen for the yarn - I feel like the man who is squeezing the Charmin when I feel the skein.

By the way, we have been officially been linked by another blogger - Collecting my Thoughts - and.... drum roll please.... we are linked by Norma because we are a relative rarity - we are the over 50 bloggers that are few and far between. WEll....prematurely 50 since I have another 6 weeks before I hit that milestone. However, it is nice to be recognized to be a minority in a frontier of technology that has hit the Internet by storm. So, not everyone may read our blog, however, we are a COOL minority.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Strange and Wonderful




Dear Cathy and Naomi - What a weekend for a gardener and knitter! While I was in Washington, D.C. I was watching the local news and they had a story about the imminent flowering of an Amorphophallus titanum, the giant stinking titan arum, at the U.S. Botanical Gardens. I saw the news on Friday, and they were predicting a Saturday or Sunday blooming. The bloom lasts only a day or two at most. I went to the gardens on Saturday morning and took the picture above, with the spathe tightly furled around the spadix. On Sunday I went back and stood in line for about half an hour to see and smell the open flower. I think the smelliness of this flower has been exaggerated; it did have a distinctly rotten odor, but it wasn't gag-inducing. I was disappointed!
The other flower pictured above was labeled Ensele superbum of the banana family, but I know its name is really Audrey II.

The sock was along for the viewing, but I didn't want to make it feel inadquate by comparison so I didn't include it in the pictures.

After my first Arum viewing I continued on to Alexandria, where I visited Springwater Fiber Arts and Knit Happens. I did some buying at Springwater, including 2 #1 circular needles to try out on a sock. I am pretty sold on the 5" dps, though.

Other highlights of the trip were a visit to the Spy Museum (don't laugh, its great) and an exhibit of textiles from the Ottoman Empire at the Sackler Museum. I also had dinner with my cousin and her husband and saw lots of friends from UVA. The low point of th trip was running through National Airport in my socks to pick up a boarding pass (my shoes were already in the x-ray machine) so that we could get on an earlier flight that would actually get us to Atlanta in time to make our connection. I got the boarding pass, we got on the plane, and we made it home by 1 am Monday.

This was supposed to be a work day in the Demonstration Garden, but the rain superceded our plans. Thank goodness for the rain; there had been no measurable precipitation since September at my house and I'm afraid to open my utility bill.

My son is on his way home from Miami for Thanksgiving. I can't wait to see him. The girls are spending Thanksgiving with their significant others, but they will be home for Christmas. On Thanksgiving evening I plan to go see the new Harry Potter movie. I've been rereading the book in preparation for the movie.

Cathy, I'll see you tomorrow at rehearsal. I have a surprise for you!

Happy Thanksgiving to you, Naomi, and all who read this. I have so much to be thankful for, including friends and hobbies.

Ellen

Friday, November 18, 2005

Whoooosh - Where did the week go?


Naomi and Ellen
I DO know this week has been busy for us all. I know that I am glad that at least the weekend work will not be involved.
I took a picture last night from the balcony of St. John's. The sock came along, but it didn't get in the picture. It was shy and remained hidden. It came out today for an extreme knitting moment, but didn't want to venture out last night.

The organ is no longer in the front of the church, but is in the balcony. Ellen and I sang with our group, though, oddly enough, we exchanged very few words between each other. Rehearsals are strictly that and chit chat is kept to a minimum, as should be. I skeedaddled out of there as soon as I was released. Ellen stayed later for extra rehearsal with her ensemble.
Church bazaar is tomorrow so will be busy. And, to top off the evening, we will celebrate Rachael's 8th birthday.

Cathy

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Saturday Night Blog

Naomi and Ellen,

It's been a whirlwind preparing for the bazaar as well as keeping up with the daily vicissitudes of life. However, I have found a couple of sites worth noting for tonight's blog sightings.

Want to knit a Christmas tree on your head? Go ahead and order the pattern here at Chappysmom. Every one needs a tree on their head.

One can create their own Google map and have it focus on any topic that one may want. There is even a blog to guide you to the many different personalized maps that are out there. Go check it out here at Google Maps Mania.

Norma has found an interesting link to Rare Birds. It, too, has a Google Map. Naomi, that Rufus (sp) hummingbird could get a posting there!

Lutheran Chik is very excited that on Christmas, the Lutheran Church will be sponsoring "Joy to the World" - it will feature music and worship from a multicultural assortment of Lutheran churches around the country.

And, to round it up, St. Casserole interviews her kitten, Fish. Notice Fish's favorite book....

That wraps it up for the Saturday night perusings of Bloggerdom.
Cathy

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Gardening Chores for November

Fall really is here. At least a day or two here and there. November is cleanup time. Remove faded flowers and brown stems. Save seeds that you want to plant next spring. Old soil in pots needs to be emptied. It can go in the compost pile or in a flower bed. The empty pots need to be rinsed and washed in a light bleach solution. Now I admit I don’t always wash mine and I have read articles this year from various experts who say it is not always necessary.
Leaves continue to fall and instead of raking them, run the lawnmower over them and add organic matter to the soil. Continue to water all newly planted plants, including trees, now unless adequate rainfall has occurred.
Annuals: Seeds can be sown for Larkspur, Sweet Alyssum, Calendula, Sweet Peas and wildflowers. Petunias, Dianthus, Snapdragons, Pansies and Johnny Jump Ups can be planted now if the soil is cool. Maybe this will be the year I finally grow sweet peas successfully.
Perennials: Rudbeckia, Ruellia, Obedient Plant, Yarrow, Firespike, Lion’s ear, Cigar Flower, Mexican Bush Sage, Pineapple Age, Salvia guaranitica, and Chrysanthemums can be planted now. It is still time to transplant those perennials that seem to be in the wrong location. Butterfly weed (Asclepias tuberose) seeds can be sown now. Plant the seed thickly as the germination rate is low, but they are worth planting to attract butterflies. The birds are now doing a good job of planting Butterfly weed for me. There is no need to apply fertilizer now, but it is a good time to pull weeds as they sprout.
Shrubs: Balled–and-burlapped or container grown shrubs can be planted now and will have time to adjust before winter arrives. Camellia japonica and Camellia sasanqua can be planted at this time. They prefer soil with a lower pH and need mulching to keep their shallow roots cool. Dead or damaged wood should be removed from shrubs.
Bulbs: Spring flowering bulbs can be planted after pre-chilling and the soil temperature reaches 60 degrees Fahrenheit or cooler. Don’t forget those bulbs you dug up to save. Bulbs need good drainage so amend the soil if necessary. Use a complete fertilizer like 8-8-8 or 10-10-10 when you plant them. Bulbs planted last fall need topdressing.
Edibles: If space is a problem, try container gardening with Arugula, Parsley, Collards, Kale, Mustard, Lettuce, and Spinach. Pansies and Snapdragons can be grown in with the vegetables. I have to get my half barrels filled so I can try fall gardening this year. I have the plastic bottles to put in the bottom of the barrels, then cover with landscape cloth and fill with potting soil. Otherwise I would need a large amount of potting soil. I envision collards surrounded by pansies for one.
Lawns: Ryegrass can be planted now for erosion control or to green up your lawn. The experts say that Bermuda grass sod can be planted now. After fighting Bermuida grass for 18 years I have no idea why anyone would intentionally plant it.
My yard is looking pretty sad right now but I anticipate being back out in it soon and I have a mental picture of how it will then look. The greenhouse has a new roof and I am anxious to get it cleaned out and organized. Keep on gardening.
This was written for the local newspaper as part of my volunteer work as a Master Gardener.

Best Laid Plans

Cathy and Ellen,
Yes I have been remiss. Cathy asked me to post my November Gardening Chores to the blog. When I cut and paste from Word it acquires some extra symbols, etc. Cathy kindly converted it to a text file and emailed it to me but for some reason, my computer refuses to cooperate so.......
Yes, Ellen being mom does take precedence over most things. And I understand the void that is left when the MG classes are over. We have a monthly meeting in Thomasville at lunchtime when we brownbag, have a 30 minute program-usually good-and then a brief business meeting. I have attended several of the statewide meetings and really enjoy those and look forward to being able to attend in the future. My yard is pitiful right now but I can see how it will look next spring.
My knitting is moving slowly. The blanket for baby grand is finally beginning to look like it might be ready by the time of his arrival in late Feb. or early Mar. The scarf which I tried to work on in the hospital is moving along nicely and plan to give it to ECW bazaar. If it doesn't sell someone will have it for Christmas. The other scarf that I cast on a few extra stitches is moving slowly. It is not wide enough for a blanket but it will be a nice wide scarf.
Cheers. Naomi

Monday, November 07, 2005

Busy Pointy Ladies

Dear Cathy and Naomi - I am reminded of a line from an Eagles song:
"Did she get tired or did she just get lazy?"
Are we all too busy to post? Things have gotten busier for me at work, and somehow the evenings just seem to fly by. Part of my activity has arisen from my son's decision to look into transferring to a different school. It is deja vu all over again; poring over the college guides; looking at websites, and trying to schedule visits. I thought I was out of this game, but if he needs assistance, I'm the Mom.
My knitting projects are coming along slowly. Cathy, I'm so glad you suggested the knitting group meeting at Borders last week. I never would have known that someone in this little city was knitting yarn that she spun from wool that came from goats she raised herself! (I feel so inadequate.) The wristies are complete, and the scarf they go with is in the assembly phase. The Zephyr pullover is at least half done. If I can keep my cat's claws out of it I may be able to wear it in Washington the weekend before Thanksgiving.
The Master Gardener class is winding down. I will miss going to it every Thursday morning. It has become the high point of the week. I hope that the monthly work days and other activities will allow me to keep up with some of the people I have met. Last week's class was about flowers, which are really best in the fall here, or maybe it's just that in the fall you want to be outside looking at them. This weekend I did some more thinning and cleaning out, and a lot of making plans for future improvements. My neighbors must wonder what I'm doing when they see me just standing in the yard staring intently at something only I can see.
Hooray for Friday's holiday! I will take pictures of all the projects and try to catch up on some nagging responsibilities.
Ellen

Monday, October 31, 2005

Guest blogger

I am most pleased to present to you a guest blogger, Sharon, who is a master potter in many ways and to have her share with my Mom and me her expertise in the field of potter and excitement with us on a Friday night in South Georgia topped off the evening. And here she is! Thanks Sharon.

I'm just finishing the last bite of a fairly decent tuna sandwich and my mind is rummaging through all the memories of the neat things I did last night with Cathy and Jo Ann (Cathy's Mom). It was a night of great camaraderie. Even the hour-long drive to and from Thomasville was fun. We chatted about everything, though knitting was a strong recurring theme. The evening's mission: dinner and a classical concert.

Upon arriving in Thomasville , we headed to George and Louie's for dinner. It was quite scrumptious; Cathy and her mom ordered the Gyro and I had the Oyster Poor Boy. G & L's has fried green tomatoes, a delicious and unusual menu offering, and their onion rings are the best. We ordered both to round out our meal. Filled to the brim, and the happier for it, we set our sights for the Thomasville Cultural Center for a concert by the Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio and the Miami String Quartet. It was a wonderful performance. You could tell the musicians were enjoying it as well. Cathy is mastering the art of knitting socks on two circular needles and she showed me her latest work while we were waiting for the program to begin. Doggoned! We should have gotten a version of, "the sock was here", picture.

Anyway...


In addition to the concert, the Cultural Center was hosting an exhibit of pottery from regional collections. My father, Ralph Weaver, had 4 of his original pieces on exhibit and my husband and I had contributed a Lanier Meaders face jug to the show(shown below).



The exhibit was being taken down in a few days and I was afraid I would miss it. As it happened, the pottery was displayed on the floor we entered, and we had plenty of time to see it before the program started....


Cathy, Joe Ann and I wandered through the exhibit, enchanted by the details, imaginative motifs and sheer variety of claywork, when I exclaimed,

"That looks like a Picasso!"

I pointed to a large white plate-form with the abstract image of a face sculpted on it. Knowing how artists "borrow" ideas from other artists, I never dreamed it could be an original. It was! There were three more very nice examples of his clay work as well. His is the name that would lend this display distinction with most people.



However, two other artists of much greater stature in the pottery world were also represented, to my great delight: Shoji Hamada, (a press-formed bottle and platter), and Bernard Leach, (a temmoku glazed vase-form). These, in my opinion were the jewels of the show. Not only because they were lovely pieces, but because they represented the works of two influential men in the Craft-Art Movement. I have perused Leach's publications, A Potter's Book, over and over, studied pictures of their pottery extensively, but never seen either of their artwork in person. Hamada was even awarded the title of National Living Treasure by his country. Yes, I guess I am swooning. It was wonderful show, and every piece in the exhibit was a treat. I was especially proud that my dad's work was represented there.
As a potter who hasn't made any pots in a long, long time, this exhibit made me yearn to play in the mud again.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Saturday Night Blog

Naomi and Ellen,
On my meanderings along the way of blogdom....

Education Wonks is a new blog I discovered this week with a postings of educational finds around the internet along with a commentary.

Knitting Episcopalians is a new ring, new blog!

Also, bloggers are making headlines by getting together and writing a devotional book for Advent devotionals!



Support independent publishing: buy this book on Lulu.



On Sale now for $9.99! down from retail price of $12.99.

Support independent publishing: buy this book on Lulu.


Last, but not least, Florida Cracker focuses on hurricane victims down in Florida.

Working on 2 circulars to knit a sock. Have cupped the heel and working round the bend. Pictures forthcoming.

Y'all have a good weekend,
Cathy

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Cozy socks

Ellen and Cathy,
Cathy your sock is pretty. One down one to go. Ellen, your socks are beautiful and this mornng a pair of them would have felt wonderful. They are very impressive. I am re-learning to knit but a long way from tackling socks. It has been 30 years since I last knitted. Two simple shawls are in progress now plus the red scarf.
Yes, Joe Ann and I had a delicious lunch at the courtyard. My favorite cream of asparagus soup was on the menu and we had the portabello mushroom and ricotta quiche with it. I doubt that either of you watched "Mary Hartman Mary Hartman" on TV in the 70s but the coach drowned in a bowl of Mary's chicken soup. Ever since then I have used the expression "I could happily drown in a bowl of 'this'" to indicate pleasure in a dish and their cream of asparagus soup is in that category. Still the best place to eat in Bainbridge.
Ellen, your organizing your stash is commendable. My stash and tools are scattered in three rooms plus the attic. Family members placed my stash in the attic last fall and I am still trying to find all of it. I have a crocheted afgan that is near completion that I would like to find and finish for the bazaar. Unfortunately the attic access ladder is off limits for me right now.
Both doctors were pleased with my progress so it more therapy and my goal is to walk independly by the end of the year.
Happy knitting.
Naomi

All My SOCK


Ellen and Naomi,

That's right - all my SOCK - my one lonely sock that I have knitted and in need of a mate.

Finished... now it is crying for it's other half, and I know I need to get it done. I have a deep sense of accomplishment in getting it done, but will even have a deeper sense of relief when the 2nd half is completed.

See Ellen, I wonder when you are getting all these socks done. I spend much of my time getting STARTED on the sock, being careful not to ladder, not to twist the row on the first go round and remembering to K1, P1 for an inch without messing up.

Oh, and why does the sock seem to be suspended in space without its surroundings? After looking at my "ashy legs" and their need for becoming groomed, I thought that the sock should be in the limelight without any thing to detract from it.
What did I learn? Here is my list:
  • never give up attempting to complete a sock
  • pull tightly between each needle
  • watch which needle you pull and select as the "empty" needle when you finish a row.
  • watch an online video of how the heel and gusset work
  • get 2 sets of needles and pace your socks...do the leg on one, then the leg on the other..the heel on one...then the other. Never again do I want to suffer from SSS - Second Sock Syndrome

It looks as though your kids are enjoying the socks. Do they know to wash them while taking a shower?
Ellen, it got nippy before the fair this year....got to pull out the long underwear...call me a weather wimp.
I know Naomi has been busy as a bee flitting about town seeing doctors and checking out the grub again. I heard my mom and she had a good meal at the Courtyard.. YUM! Naomi will tell you what they cooked up for lunch today!

PTO meeting tonight!
Cathy

Monday, October 24, 2005

All My Socks

Dear Cathy and Naomi - How about them socks? Here they are being modeled by Alexa, Camille, and Mark. It has gotten cold enough in New York to make wool socks seem like a good idea.
My own wool socks (Sock Garden in Morning Glory) are close to being finished, and this morning they would have felt good.

Naomi, I'm glad you are back in blogland! It's a shame your recovery period was so unpleasant and unproductive. I hope you are knitting and gardening soon.

I am so tired of having my knitting supplies spread out in several rooms, and having the implements in a big plastic bin with some yarn, that I bought a three-drawer plastic storage cart this weekend and moved everything to it. The top drawer contains needles and other tools, the middle drawer is sock yarn, and the bottom drawer contains the rest of the stash. There is not much room left for yarn, so I 'll try to finish a few things before adding more. I made a good start over the weekend on a Knitty pullover. I'm using two strands of Zephyr 2/18 on #9 needles, and plan to make it a little longer than the pattern indicates. What I think will be a good thing about this pattern is that when the back is finished, the piece is about half complete.

Yesterday while I was cleaning the kitchen I was watching (sort of) that trashy made for TV movie about Martha Stewart. There was a scene where she snidely points out an error in a fellow inmate's knitting, but her comment was, "You missed a bar on your cross stitch." Does this sound like knit-speak to you? I think any screenwriter who makes a knitting reference should at least check with a real knitter to ensure that it makes sense!

Gotta flit! Take care and get strong (Naomi) and mellow (Cathy).

Ellen

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Naomi returns to blogdom

Cathy and Ellen,
My blogger has been out of commission for a while. I carried a large bag of yarn and needles to the hospital so I could knit as I convalesced. After all surgery on a knee should not interfere with knitting. True, but the combination of medicines I received carried me to la la land complete with hallucinations and paranaoia for several days. At some point I decided I was ready to knit and worked on the red scarf I am making. Fortunately I soon tired and retired the knitting. When I felt braver I rolled out the knitting bag and could not believe my eyes. At the last Tuesday night kint-in the scarf and I were there. When I pulled it out of the bag everyone asked "what is that?" My only reply was "I have no idea" but Cathy came to the rescue and the scarf is on target again. I think I will continue building my strength for a few more days before I resume knitting.
cheers. Naomi

Saturday, October 22, 2005

10/22/05 Saturday Night Blog and more

Cathy's Blog travels
****
For an unconventional garden, check out Irenic Thoughts
****
For several months, I have wanted to know what the terms "bling bling" is - now I found a place that can provide information for these "new words" that folks throw around and assume everyone knows. So, if you wanted to know what "bling bling means, go here:

Bling Bling - so now you know.
*****
There seems to be a never ending amount of knitting blogs. This I found this week:
Stitchy McYarnPants
****
Joy of Socks - sometimes one can have too many socks
****
Last but not least, a place to carve your pumpkin without the mess:
Carve a pumpkin

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Mishap

Naomi and Ellen,
I took a break from working on a sock to start up a scarf for middle child of mine that wants a red scarf. I was plugging nicely along, and since it has some k3 tog and k2 tog it pulls a little bit and it gets a little cattywampus looking - so since it is Wool-Ease and has some acrylic with lambswool, I thought I best see how it might give and take...well as I was doing that, I noticed this:



Well, I am thankful that I had gone no further than I had, but not a happy camper. So off to tink I go.
Think I will bring some socks for those little bits of time that need filling.

Cathy

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

The View from Columbia

Here are just two of the beauties of the Riverbank Zoo and Garden in Columbia, SC. On Oct. 14 I was at the gate when the garden opened for business, and I stayed until after noon, taking pictures and wondering if there is room for these beauties in my own garden. The pitcher plants (Dana's Delight, above) were looking carniverous and spry. There is a large collection of old roses, including Rosa "Natchitotches," a noisette that was found in Natchitoches Parish, LA in 1714. Surely I can find room for this one.


This garden is operated by the South Carolina Extension Service which is part of Clemson University. I had a nice talk with a Master Gardener while I was there; we discussed ring nematodes, among other things.



Thanks to some quality knitting time on the trip, the Hydrangea shawl is finally complete. It is my first, and possibly last, adventure in lace knitting. the pictures show it before, during, and after blocking. The effect of blocking is so gratifying that I'm tempted to knit lace again. In this climate the shawl season is pretty limited, though.

While I was in Columbia I visited one yarn shop (Hooks and Needles) and bought more sock yarn for myself and my husband. He was wearing self-patterning socks on the way home, and the airport security guard just had to comment on them. Gary stuck up for his hand-knit socks. What a guy!

While Columbia is a nice city, there is something passing strange about South Carolina's morbid obsession with the past. On the interior wall of the rotunda of the state capitol there is a big marble placque engraved with the Ordinance of Secession. In front of the building is a large statue of a confederate soldier and a confederate flag, both of which are lit up at night. It is as though they think fighting against the United States was the finest thing South Carolinians ever did.

Cathy, the flower you posted is indeed an hibiscus, Hibiscus mutabilis. I used to have one but did not realize how big it would get and planted it too close to the driveway. They are so beautiful this time of year.

Does anyone recognize this plant? It was in the garden in Columbia but it was not tagged and no one was around to ask. It was about 3' tall, and the long narrow leaves do not belong to it.

Gotta run now. I may start a new knitting project tonight; a sock on needles is not enough of a challenge.

Ellen

Saturday, October 15, 2005

10/15/05 Saturday Night Blog

Ellen's Sightings in Blogdom:
Ellen has the week off as she travels the south - bet she hits a yarn shop or two.
Naomi is home now and recovering nicely. She will be returning soon.

Cathy's Sighting in BlogWorld:

Knitters and Blogdom Unite! USA Today has recognized the community and power of the Knitting blog.

Lutheran Chik posts Friday Botanical Blogging - I think we could start a botanical blogging for our neck of the woods - oh how we could see the differences as the seasons change.

Norma, a most prolific blogger, posts her thoughts on Social Security, and the inequities and dysfunction of the system.

Sightings in my back yard:


This is what we call a cotton rose, and I have two cobloggers that can help me on this, but the stamen sure looks like this is a member of the hibiscus family (though you can't see it in the photo - sorry).

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Potpourri

Ellen and Naomi,

First, rumor has it that Naomi is to be home in the next day or two with her new knee. After almost 2 weeks in the hospital, I know she will be glad to be home and I KNOW she will be glad to post on this blog and to read it. I know that we have been limping along here without her (no pun intended in light of Naomi's bad knee that should be good as new).

First, the bathroom - I can't believe you don't have storage under the sink - I want storage where ever I can find it. Where do you put STUFF if you have no place to put it??? That almost makes me want to panic, and then I realize I don't have to worry about it :)

On your idiosyncracies, I must address and comment -

* I find the older I get, the less I want to shop with others. There are a few people I can shop ok with -- actually my husband is good to shop with. He goes with the flow and makes me a happy camper.
* Bed making is a waste of time - we are hit and miss in that chore. Mostly miss.
* Have you read Swimming in Antarctica? The author, Lynne Cox, a long distance swimmer, swims not only for distance, but in waters that no person in their right mind would attempt.
She also swims in the Bering Strait - interesting read for those that like human endurance stories. To top it off she swam these cold waters in her 40s.

The socks are lovely, I thought you would have them by your shower phone...
Naomi, look forward to your arrival back to blogdom.
Ellen, see you at Trinity tomorrow.
Cathy

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

A little chance for charity knitters


Ellen, Naomi, and I are participating in Cloths for Katrina knitting project. Naomi is on sabbatical at the moment, working on creating more havoc at airport scanning devices as she becomes more bionic.

Anyway, we would like to see what other folks are knitting for charity. Some of you are Cloths for Katrina Knitters, while others will be knitting for other organizations (I found this link for charity knitting, which includes some of the many organizations that accept donations).

Here is what we would like for you to do to participate in our drawing:



  • Post a picture of your completed project on your blog
  • Post the charity or organization to which you are giving the project
  • Share with others that we are doing this and link back to our site
  • Post a comment in the comment section so we can go to your site and enjoy what you are doing!

This is what we have in return. We will have a drawing on Nov. 1 - All Saints' Day for all of you saints out there for the work you do. We will draw for the following yarn:

and for those of you interested in Lace Knitting, perhaps this will entice you:
It's 70% Super Kid Mohair 25% nylon 5% wool. And scruptious.
This is some of my BEST stash, and I had intended to knit the Kiri Shawl, but that was not to be. So, I "branched" out into a smaller project and knitted this with the above yarn:

Branching Out is a lace scarf from Knitty.com. (Scarf is not part of drawing - it's what I knit with the yarn in the drawing.) It was my first attempt at lace knitting and I am looking forward to it again. This lace scarf is now in Ireland in her new home. A transplanted Floridian, she and her family decided to move to husband's stomping grounds. If I get a picture of it in that green country, I will post. However, to be eligible for this drawing, you must post your charity knitting on your blog and let us know!

Ellen, Naomi, and I are excited about this, because we know the good work that knitters do!
Look forward to seeing the goodies! Bring 'em on!

Sincerely,
Plays with pointy things bloggers....

Ribs and Tags



Dear Cathy and Naomi -
How about those Dancing socks? Now there are two, and they are on their way to the big city. I hope they go with Camille's new cashmere sweaters. We can only fantasize about sweaters, since it is still still steamy in the south. (Do you like that alliteration?) I have almost finished the first Sock Garden sock that I am making for myself in Morning Glory, and hope for wool sock weather in the next few weeks.

The bathroom project is sooo close to being complete. Here is the sink that became the centerpiece for the project! Please note: there is no storage space underneath, because this bathroom will not become junked-up. (Cue Scarlett O'Hara saying, "As God is my witness...")

Cathy, thanks for the tag. Between your and Lutheran Chik's idiosyncracies, I think most of mine are covered, but this is a chance for public introspection (is that an oxymoron?) Like you, Cathy, I'm sure my family would identify 5 other idiosyncrasies.

1. I don't mind being alone. While I don't want to be a hermit, or spend the winter in a cabin in the mountains, it doesn't bother me to spend several hours by myself on the weekends, or work pretty much independently at my office, or take long driving trips alone. I don't mind sightseeing by myself, and really prefer shopping alone. Conversely, being around a lot of people for a long time makes me tired and cranky.
2. I plan my Saturday activities aroung the local broadcast of "Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me." My favorite panelists are Paula Poundstone and Roy Blount, jr., but I really love them all.
3. I've always thought bed-making is a waste of time and never do it, except when I change the sheets. I never made my kids make their beds.
4. I am better at finding solutions than giving sympathy.
5. I am fascinated by stories about Arctic and Antarctic exploration, and would someday like to visit Tierra del Fuego.

The Leon County extension service demonstration garden is having it's annual open house this Saturday, and yesterday all the master gardeners were there, getting the garden ready for company. I won't be there Saturday but I did my part yesterday, de-suckering the crape myrtles and pulling bahia grass out of the daffodil beds. Anybody interested in North Florida gardening is should come see what grows well here!

Well, Cathy, I'll see you in a few hours at our Angel's gig. I guess it wouldn't be polite to bring my knitting.

Ellen

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Saturday Night Blog

What we are reading and seeing on the world of Blogdom:

Cathy wanderings:
LutheranChik's "L" Word Diary always has some interesting postings - her "Singing in the Reign" caught my attention as well as her silent retreat posting.

The Methodist Minister and Presbyterian Attorney's blog Hurricane Katrina - Mississippi Response offers a bird's eye view of those in the midst of cleaning up after the most costly hurricane/disaster in our nation's history. St. Casserole offers her perspective with tears and laughter from Lousiana (I would love to know where her blog name came from).

And, on the knitting front, At my Knit's End offers its readers a combination of knitting and politics with a good dose of wit. Her Karabella Konservative (10/02/2005 posting) sweater is quite the accomplishment and though I don't know if I would wear it to Nascar, as she mentions (hmmmmm.... me??? NASCAR?? Surely I jest), I think there are finer places to wear that piece of art.

Last but not least, a newly found blog for me is one of the most prolific posters that I have encountered - her postings are eclectic and diverse and one never knows what is going to be posted next. This week's 1600 The Nose have it is one of the more off the wall postings for the week. Norma, keep up the good work. No telling where 1600 is on her page - she will post several entries a day.

Ellen's findings:

My favorite blog is only new to me, but is worth sharing, nonetheless. Martian Anthropologist has a biting satire of the intelligent design controversy. As an aside, I could hardly bring myself to pretend to my own kids that the presents came from Santa Claus when they were little. One time, after hearing an appeal for contributions for Toys for Tots or some similar activity, one of my daughters asked why Santa Claus didn't just bring toys to the poor kids.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Road Trip!




"Road trip!" is one of my favorite lines from Legally Blond. I remember the excitement of heading out into the world with my Delta Gamma sisters or other friends in at Roanoke College. Well, last night my new knitting friend Martha and I made a road trip to participate in some interstate knitting. We met with some fellow Cloths for Katrina knitters (including Cathy and her mom) and talked, ate and knitted. What a great evening, even though it was a little more sedate than my undergrad road trips. My husband told our daughter, "Mom's on the knitting travel team."



Since Martha drove, I worked on the second Dancing sock on the out-bound trip. (Here is the first one, twining itself around the new bathtub faucet.) I've come to think of it as "the sock that won't end" because the twisted rib is so slow compared to lovely, mindless stockinette. I am so ready to cast on a pair of basic socks in Sock Garden for myself, especially since the weather is intimating autumn. Life is good when it is finally cool enough to wear wool socks!

I'm looking forward to hearing from all charity knitters. Please let us know what you are up to.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

What City Do you belong in?

You Belong in Rome


You're a big city girl with a small town heart

Which is why you're attracted to the romance of Rome

Strolling down picture perfect streets, cappuccino in hand

And gorgeous Italian men - could life get any better? (hmmmmmm.... don't know about that!)


What City Do You Belong in? Take This Quiz :-)




Thursday, September 29, 2005

Not a "plain" old trip

Ellen and Naomi,
On the way to the workshop on Monday, I spotted a fence of what I thought might be morning glories, but they are not as large as the flower that I know of as the flower. Growing on a fence in front of a trailer, this plant has been there for a while. On my journey back on Tuesday, I stopped by and took this picture. Unfortunately, it was cloudy, so the flowers did not shine like they did the first morning, but pretty all the same – it covered the entired length of the fence and the flowers were pink, purple and white? Any clue to the name???

The four day workshop was very good – long, but good, and memorable in the fact that we were in this town:

Now, dear friends, Plains is a small town, very small and with the exception of a few stores that have antiques, Carter memorabilia, and a few eating establishments (no chains – all local restaurant/cafes), one is limited into what one can do. However, the Plains Inn is the charm in this small town. The name in itself is quite ordinary for an extraordinary place. Created from a renovated old warehouse, this inn is a bed and breakfast with each room decorated in a decades theme from the 1920s to the 80s. Each room has a distinct personality and relics from that particular decade. The 1950s room has the following:
All rooms were decorated by former first lady Rosalyn Carter and the renovations of the warehouse were done by Jimmy Carter along with some inmates. Each room had a notebook where guests could sign and tell a little about their stay and themselves. Truly a delight to read the stories of people visiting this little community.

Knitting did take place in the form of dishcloths for Katrina, along with a little sock work. However, I still don't have something right on the back of the sock, and it won't take much to rectify it. Unfortunately the knitter didn't get it right, because she thought there MUST be an error in the directions. Looking at a similar sock pattern, the first one must have been correct, so a little tinking never hurt anyone.

Naomi, I remember seeing the Cereus last year. It must be happy on your porch.
I have more pictures and more stories, but I am tired and will post more later.
Cathy

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

This'n'that


This is my third attempt. I manged to lose the first two.

The Cereus bloom is about 8 inches in diameter. If only there was a way to preserve it. It is completely closed by mid-morning.

Ellen the socks are impressive, awesome. Socks appear more difficult to me than lace knitting.

I was sorry to see the Bob Dylan special end last night and am looking forward to the second half tonight. While watching I complete my 4th washcloth and started a scarf.
Naomi

Irresistable Quiz


Dear Cathy and Naomi - According to this quiz I am Shetland Wool, "tough as nails and prone to intracacies." My daughter concurs, but only if "intracacies" means "quirkiness."










Here are the knitted surprises! Red socks, for the Red Sox fans of the family. I finished them in time for the playoffs, but right now it looks like the Red Sox will finish their season before the playoffs. I really enjoyed knitting the pair on the right. They are Knit Pick's Sock Garden in Geranium, and I used #1 dpns in a basic top-down pattern. The wool is a pleasure to knit. The dark red socks are Knit Picks Essential sock yarn, which struck me as adequate but not exciting.


Here is a glimpse of the no-longer-pink bathroom. I got it painted last week (in time to show off the tile and paint to our company) and the plumber is installing fixtures as I type. Maybe tomorrow there will be a picture of a claw-footed tub.

Naomi, I loved reading about your garden. Please get some pictures, especially of the night-blooming cereus. My Muhly grass is just starting to bloom, and the dark-blue plumbago is covered with blooms. The cuphea is getting ready to bloom for the second time this season, and the tibouchina (pictured above) continues to be just about the prettiest thing I've ever seen. Both the leaves and flowers are covered with silky hairs that reflect the light.

Did either of you see the first half of No Direction Home, the show about Bob Dylan, last night? It made me so nostalgic, and also made me think that the current celebrity-obsessed culture has damaged popular music. There doesn't seem to be lot of interesting music now, in the way that Dylan was interesting and relevant. The show continues tonight, and it will be available on DVD.

I went back to the second Twisted Rib sock, and added a few more rows to the shawl. Second-sock guilt is stronger than second-sock syndrome; unfinished projects feel like failures to me.

Let me know what kind of wool you are.

Ellen