Easing into Monday

Easing into Monday

It was a quiet weekend here with no real plans to do anything, which was perfect.

We did a bit of yard work in the heat, no too much, but just enough and I was pleased to see that this week my first zucchini will be ready for picking!

There was a bit of knitting – clue one is done and I am patiently waiting (okay, maybe not patiently!) for clue two!

And, the rain today will make it easier to get some indoor things done.

How was your weekend?

Gone Knittin’

Gone Knittin’

I had a few things to get done yesterday morning and then Steve and I took a bit of a walk out at Boyce Mayview. It was my first walk since my tumble and it went well, although a bit warm with the heat yesterday afternoon! And, I am happy to report that there are no ill effects this morning! Now if only my skinned knee and all the lovely bruises would fade away!

My reward for all that was to knit a bit last night. I did a few rows on Stillwater, but my main goal was to get KK’s MKAL cast on! I am through half of the repeats for the first clue. I hope to have this finished up quickly this morning so I can get back to that sweater!

For you Summer Knit-Alongers – how are things going? Have any of you like me, reset your knitting list? I do have one Montadale Sock almost done, the toe just needs to be kitchnered – the perfect thing to accompany happy hour, perhaps! Now, here’s the kicker – I know that I cast on with a different sized needle, however because I am so smart (NOT), I did not write down what I did. So, I will have to do a bit of trial and error in the casting on of sock two… Note to self: There are Ravelry notes for a reason, right?

Speaking of Happy Hour! I have a beverage to share with you all. Tonight, I am doing my take on this! Rather than bourbon, I am going to substitute Vanilla Crown tonight, I will let you know how it turns out!

Now, how about some links!

The Summer issue of Amirisu has some lovely patterns in it! Like this and this and this!

Corolla is lovely and on sale until Sunday.

And, finally this week, I was surprised that I had never seen any patterns before by Marie Greene (the Stillwater designer). I was pleasantly surprised with her selection in her ravelry store, but these really caught my eye:

That is all I have for this week, my knitting is calling! Have a great weekend and I will see you back here on Monday!

Refocusing Intentions

Refocusing Intentions

This week’s Think Write Thursday topic is to “consider what it means to be at the halfway point of the year. Did you state some intentions for 2017? If so, check in on them and give us an update. If you didn’t state any intentions then maybe you could tell us what you think so far about 2017 or perhaps you’d like to set some intentions for the second half of the year. Whatever you decide, however you approach this topic, regale us with your words!”

I am sure of nothing so little as my own intentions. – Lord Byron.

Who besides me feels this great internal debate of time? You know, that great conundrum of “how is it only June?” and “how can it be June?” – yes, these two phrases seem to tell the tale of 2017 – the year that is both creeping slowly and racing rapidly by simultaneously!

I wrote down a few things to “focus on” this year and even foolishly declared it the year of the sweater (can you hear me laughing here?) I assure you that this is not the year of the sweater. In fact, this might not even be the year of knitting! To date, I have only finished seven projects and not one of them is a sweater!

My stitching is perhaps the most faithful thing I do (and though I have had a day or two here and there where I have missed, I have caught up easily).

I set my reading goal at 60 books and I have only completed 22, which puts me 5 books behind schedule. I am hoping that I can catch this up this summer – and perhaps even get ahead a bit!

I wanted to organize my photos and while I have done a fantastic job this year of organizing by month – I have not worked on previous months at all.

There were some other things that I journaled about as “wishes” that may find themselves moving to a reality.

And, there are some things (hello, LipSense) that I had no idea about at all but could not be happier with today!

This mid-year refocus is bringing some changes… and if you know me, then you know that I think that is not a bad thing at all!

If you want to see how this year is unfolding for others, you will find them here. If you want to “regale Carole and I with your words”, you can sign up here!

Unraveled Wednesday, June 14

Unraveled Wednesday, June 14

What is better for the almost “ides” of June to talk about knitting and reading?

Up first, reading… I have lots of books to update you all with! I have completed three books since week:

  1. Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. This book was recommended to me for my “about a homecoming” square on Summer Book Bingo. And, like Carole, I wanted to give this book 5 stars, but I also felt like parts were very tedious. However, I loved the viewpoint on an immigrant view on “white America” – it was powerful and one I will think of for a very long time. Perhaps, I will listen to this book as Mary did, because I am sure my thinking on name pronunciation is way off! I gave this book 4 stars
  2. The Likeness by Tana French. In the far-fetched category, this book takes top billing. I really wanted to like it, I promise. But, the entire story line is so implausible…I had narrowed down the killer to 2 people very quickly and my guess was proven correct (although, they never really have a “true confession”). The writing is good, but this book could have been so much better if any of the story line had any hint of being believable. In short, the entire story fell a bit flat for me and I am not sure I will continue with this series. I gave this book 2 stars.
  3.  Marie Antoinette: The Journey. This book filled the “biography of a royal” Summer Book Bingo square. I knew absolutely nothing about dear Marie (outside of cake and the guillotine). This story is well narrated, and well written. It is interesting, endearing, and educational. I enjoyed being immersed in the French court pre-revolution, and the ending was as I expected – moving and sad. If you are looking for a wonderful “listen” I highly recommend this! I gave this book 4 stars.

I am currently reading The Girl with the Pearl Earring to fill my “about art/artists” square. I have just begun, but thus far I am enjoying it.

I will start listening to The Hanging by Lotte and Soren Hammer today.

And, did you hear about the Big Library Read? No? I love the concept of this: “Big Library Read (BLR), facilitated by OverDrive, is a reading program through your library that connects millions of readers around the world with the same eBook at the same time without any wait lists or holds.” And, the first book is The Other Einstein. I have downloaded it and will be starting it shortly – reading time began on Monday the 12th and you have until the 26th to finish. There is discussion and a little podcast to hear from the author, Marie Benedict! Summer reading is simply the best!

Summer Knitting has been equally good, especially when there is no unraveling. I am cruising along on Stillwater. I love that the pattern within the pattern is not overly challenging and it makes for a very interesting knit. I have divided for the sleeves and the “removal” of those stitches should make the rows speed up a bit!

What about you? How is your summer going?

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How My Garden Grows

How My Garden Grows

Mary had asked about my garden, so I thought I would share with you what works for us… or what we hope works for us! I do not have ground that would give me what Bonny has in her yard. The soil here is very poor and extremely rocky – as in there are more rocks than dirt.

So, we first started out with cedar 4×4 beds and this year we moved those beds and replaced them with Smart Pots. We have 2 sizes: 2 – Big Bag Bed which is 50″ across and 5 – 7 gallon pots. These are working extremely well, thus far.

The raspberries have all but taken over the back bed and they don’t seem to mind the poor soil quality. We planted peppers in a third of this bed (the only remaining original bed from our first year of gardening. I replenish the soil each spring, but the peppers are not doing well at all this year. I am hoping the boost of nitrogen we gave them over the weekend, a measured bit of watering, and a bit of shade to allow them to recover without having to bake all day in this heat wave we are having will help them perk up a bit soon! We have 3 different kinds of peppers – Poblano, Jalapeno, and Cubanelle.

I have 4 zucchini plants in the smaller bags and 1 bush cucumber. Both are thriving in the bags, and I have LOTS of baby zucchini growing!

Tomatoes and beans share the larger bag beds, and I have an incredible variety this year. My neighbor gave us a variety of plants he seeded: Romanescos, Striped Germans, and Bumble Bees which I planted in one of the bag beds. He also gave us San Marzanos and Beefsteaks (which I planted in the old cedar beds which are now outside the “deer-free zone”). We also have a trio of Cherry Sweet 100s that share a bed with a Mortgage Lifter, an Oxheart, and a Sun Gold. I interspersed beans in between the tomatoes in the large bag beds.

Surprisingly, I found several tomato plants growing under the rose bush that must have seeded from last year’s cherry tomatoes. I have transplanted them into the “outside” beds and they are doing quite well!

An offspring of last years crop!

I also have a dozen each of red and yellow onions – I have yet to have success with onions, but they are growing well in the “outside” beds and the deer have thus have touched nothing in those beds, fingers crossed that continues!

The rhubarb seems to have done well in moving, and I got one new rhubarb plant this spring.

If you think you don’t have space – I highly recommend the 7 gallon pots! They are sturdy, and the zucchini and cucumber are happy as can be in them! The big beds take more dirt than you imagine they will, but in a tight space it is nice to have a round object versus a 4×4 square. This bed holds just as much as the square, but it is much easier to move around!

There you have a little view at my garden.

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