Saturday, June 30, 2007

Summer is here, and as with most things that involve change, it is wrecking havoc with my mental schedules. There isn't anything wrong with a summer schedule, it's just different from my school year schedule, and as such, I have to refigure when I'm going to perform my marginal activities (such as knitting, spinning, and blogging, for example). It's not that these activities hold marginal interest for me, you understand, just that at present, while working and ferrying offspring around, they exist in the margins of my life. Some people advocate moving marginal activities to times such as 4 am; I am not one of them. At 4 am I hope to be sound asleep.

It would appear that my best time to blog is going to be in those moments when my son is not yet ready to tear himself from the library high speed connection, such a thing being unheard of at our house. The only thing wrong with this plan (high speed connections being desirable for this on my part as well), is that the library frowns on my attaching my camera to their computer, which sort of leads to a dearth of pictures. Hmmmm...

Have a good weekend.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

More of the Asiatic lilies have opened up. These are in a pot on my front step, and the small flower to the back is a baby in the same pot. I think it's going to find a new home in the fall. These next pictures are of an Asiatic type - Red Carpet Lilies, marketed as good border plants. I have them bordering the bed along the front walk. Last year when I got these, I meant to put them up along the edge and see how far the 20 I ordered would go. In actual fact, when the bulbs arrived, I had a big wad of zinnias which had taken over the center part of the border, so I skipped a space in the middle. So, I suppose this year I need to fill in the gap. The side picture gives the truest color - at least on my monitor.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

The first blooms of the season are always the darlings - we wait and wait, then ooh and ah. The later blooms? Well, not so much. They sort of run together.

These are the yellow dwarf asiatics, in the same bed as the orange and pale orange previously mentioned. Did I run right out when the first one opened to take it's picture?Maybe not. But they do look good together, don't you think? The Stella D'Oro's have started.

And oh, yes. Knitting. There is some of that happening. These were my five additions to the Dulaan or Bust party.(Ok, so you can't really see the navy blue hat in the right hand corner since the reds took over the picture, but it is there. Promise!)

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

I got some catalpa seeds from my BIL's vineyard. The trees there are decades old, but exactly how old is unknown. The vineyard site is more than a hundred years old, but has not been in continuous use as a vineyard for the whole time , or even most of that time . (Prohibition, anyone?) I was a little surprised to see catalpas this far north (Hudson Valley) but this variety does seem to manage. I left the seed pods in the garage over the winter and then started them in a pot. The variety I'm acquainted with was quick growing and huge leaved. The leaves were late to sprout in the spring and withered at the first hint of cold. The parent trees to these sprouts seem to have these characteristics as well, although the seed pods were narrower and thicker than I remember from my childhood. Unlike the dwarf asiatics, these Tango lilies (asiatic hybrids) are not quite so far along, and are quite a bit larger plants, although the flowers are pretty much the same size. And, last but not least, we have the beginnings of a pot of scarlet verbena. I have a hanging pot that got quite carried away last summer, until neglect from being gone several weeks did it in. Maybe this summer will be better.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

The garden in the front is starting to bloom. The Stella D'Oros will be just a few days more... But the dwarf asiatics are taking off in orange and
pale orange.

Monday, June 11, 2007

There has been a bunch of spinning going on chez nous I've doubled the number of Beast skeins - about half of it is finished.
I also started working on Hyrna again. When last seen, I had just gotten about this far: When I discovered that I didn't have enough handspun to finish it. There was enough variation in the skeins that I didn't like the way it was turning out. I ripped all of it back into little balls. Having now purchased a ginormous skein of Henry's Attic alpaca laceweight from Woodland Woolworks, I divided it into four smaller balls of approximately 1200 yards each. I'm now back to the point I was at when I started ripping - finished with the chart A section, complete with expansion as discussed with beadlizard previously. We'll see if I can get any farther.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Cute cat, eh? If you look closely, that's MY shawl he's so carefully curled up on. AND again. Different shawl, same Tiger. Humph.
We had a break in the weather and I got a bit of baking done, for the first time in weeks. I dragged out an old recipe for Banana Chocolate Chip cookies, which we used to eat all the time and then, I suppose, we got burnt out on them.
These cookie fiends devoured half a batch the first day, and then, yes, half a batch the second day. When she reached for the last cookie in the box the first day, K turned and looked at me seriously and said, "Mom! These are Dangerous Cookies!" So, herewith, I present Dangerous Cookies. You have been warned.

Dangerous Cookies (my variation of the Banana Chocolate Chips, from The 47 Best Chocolate Chip Cookies in the World)

1 c butter
1/2 c white sugar
3/4 c brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp maple extract
3 c flour
3 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 c mashed ripe banana
1 c pecan pieces
2 c semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 F. Stir together dry ingredients, set aside. Cream butter and sugars. Add egg and extract; mix well. Blend in bananas. Slowly add dry ingredients; blend well. Stir in chocolate chips and nuts. Drop by tablespoonfuls onto cookie sheets with parchment paper (or greased), about 2 inches apart. Bake for 12 or 13 minutes. Cool. Makes approximately 4 dozen cookies.

Monday, June 04, 2007

My feet hurt!

6 hours of walking around the local amusement part on Friday with the 6th grade class trip and my feet still hurt. 3 12-year old boys take a lot of keeping up with.

And while we're on the subject of 12 year olds - what ARE their parents thinking? Who sends their kids with $35 to spend and no instructions on how to spend it? I was feeling extravagant giving mine $20 and expecting him to learn to make good choices about buying his lunch. (He can spend as much as he likes/needs, but I expect the change back. The thing that always surprises me is, I get some!) These kids had their lunch provided AND $35 to just "spend". One of them asked me "Can we go shopping? I love to go look at the shops and waste money." What sort of a life lesson is that? _grrr_