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


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.


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.


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.

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.