Friday, August 31, 2012

clan gathering on sunday!

it's been almost 1 1/2 years since my dad died and i'm the keeper of his geezer hat.  i'm thinking i'll wear it for the clan summer hummer event....  and that means my hair can be whatever it wants to be and i'll just cover it up!!

most of the tribe will be here, except not the Duvall branch.  they are working hard with dyeing fibers for the Oregon Flock and Fiber Fest 9/22 and 9/23.  look for the Woolgatherings booth for exceptionally beautiful dyed spinning fibers!

the summer hummer will be this sunday and will be especially special (how's that combination?) because Robin has moved back to portland after almost 20 years in tennessee.  there will be photos... just not sure when... J and i will be leaving tuesday a.m. heading up to Vancouver BC, by way of an overnight in Duvall, to take the cruise to Alaska.  for so long i've wanted to see Alaska and glaciers and whales and bears, oh my!  and next week i'll be there!!  bravo!

when i saw this photo on Kate's facebook i thought how cool that Chris got a Mini!  turns out he was at a golf tournament in seattle, and the Mini dealer had bars set up in their cars around the place.  someone with a camera loved Chris' golfing outfit, especially the socks, and asked him to pose by the car.  tres cool,, huh?

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

from facebook

i keep finding great stuff on facebook... and here's a way to keep track of it.


food art

pretty cool, huh?  saw it on facebook (Pure Prairie Farm) and it makes me smile!  photoshopped?  what do you think?

Friday, August 24, 2012


most of the time i really really try to resist my gut impulse to voice my opinions here concerning the current political happenings.  mostly, i stay away from it here because i get so much of it in real life.  we watch usually 2 MSNBC programs every night, i check in on what's new on Huffington Post daily, i watch Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert whenever they are on (they take too damn many vacations in my opinion).... so an occasional snarky political bit is all i put here.  and i guess it's partly because this is sort of my journal or diary and i'm so fucking fed up with what's going on in the political arena that i don't want to read about it when i come back here to re-view what's been happening in my life.  but since i've opened pandora's box here, i will say that i am thoroughly disgusted and dismayed with the efforts to take us back decades in terms of women's rights!  i mean REALLY.. how many times does this fight need to be fought?  does each generation have to do this again?  what's next? perhaps our voting rights next, after turning back the clock on reproductive rights and our right to make decisions on our health care and our own bodies?  these are human rights... which means no one gets to vote on it.  and the focus on this subject means we are neglecting focus on other vitally important issues such as children in our country who don't get enough food or health care or protection from harm.

well, i could go on and on and on... but will curb it for now and go back to the occasional snarky bit.  but do not neglect your right to vote.  it's important.

here's 2 of 'em

i don't often say "I HATE" anything... but here's 2 of them:  fruitflies and vinca, neither are commonly seen on that kind of list, let alone on the same list.

so, where the bloody hell do they come from, those fruitflies??  all of a sudden my kitchen is inundated with the small annoying beasties.  i even bought a heavy duty snap-lid kind of container for the compost, and did it eliminate them?  nope.  and i've hung up 2 of those sticky fly strips...both of them are full of the awful insects... and there's still an abundance of em' flying around all over the place.  Jim pours a glass of wine and within seconds (well, it seems like that) they are all over the rim and swimming around in the wine.  they don't seem interested in the vegetables i've had in the food dryer, but i'm really reluctant to try drying fruit.  juicy, sweet peaches?  i don't think i want to go there.  and i keep getting repeated offers to bring home peaches and nectarines from a local farm... which i guess i'm supposed to turn into jam.  just not sure i want any part of that.  realistic consideration tells me that it would be way more simple to find an organic peach jam at a farmer's market or Trader Joe's...and since my jam-making usually produces more of a sauce than a jam, well, i think the purchasing option makes way more sense on so many levels!  ha!  that's settled... no jam making attempts here.

and then there's vinca.  i'm not talking about the "cultivated" kind of vinca sold in nurseries as a ground cover.  nope... this is wild vinca and its life in my queendom has a long ago history.  many years ago when we were building our house (which took many many years to do) we built it on the edge of a wheat field.  there was only dirt around the house... only dirt.  no trees or bushes or landscaping of any kind... just lots of dirt, which turned to mud when the rains came.  we had no money to put into plants or trees or bushes or landscaping... every penny and more went into building the house.  i became friends with a neighbor, Celia, who was in very similar circumstances.  we were always on the look-out for any green growing thing we could plant in that dirt (which became dust in the summer and mud in the winter. and the mud dried when it came into the house... and it became dust).  so, one day when we were out for a walk we saw what looked like a likely solution to cover up some of the dirt/mud/dust which surrounded our homes.  it was vinca and it looked green and healthy and vigorous.  having no idea what we were doing, we both pulled some of it up from the side of the road and planted it around our houses.  we did not know at the time that it was a spawn of the devil with roots that must go straight down to hell.  just try pulling or digging it out.  it always wins.  so, 30 some years later i've just spent another bunch of grueling hours trying to pull and dig it out.  i will never win this one.  and there is not a chemical weed killer that i have not tried.  nothing works, not even the pulling and digging.  and it's a losing situation for me.  if i give up, it takes over.  even when i spend hours trying to conquer it, there's always one bit of root that escapes me and that's all it needs to keep going.  i don't give up easily, but i'm getting close on this one.  i HATE vinca!

Monday, August 20, 2012

life in my queendom

when i saw this on my miniature pomegranate bush, i thought it was a tiny pom!

and then came this blossom!

then the petals fell off and here it is today.  there are 2 of them.  i've put little net bonnets over them for protection from the deer.

an artichoke gone rogue (remember the whole "going rogue" from the last presidential elections go around?)

it didn't get picked in time, so turned into a lovely flower!

first comes the beautiful squash blossom.... and a few hours later you suddenly have more harvest than you have space and/or neighbors.

well... ok... it's a few days, not a few hours but it's still a lot of squash all of a sudden!  a neighbor brought over her food dehydrator for me to use until she has time for it, so i've been drying zucchini and yellow squash circles for use in soups in the winter.  haven't tried it yet, but maybe they can be re-hydrated and stir fried?

oh, and it's not hot any more.  might get to 80F today and that's fine with me!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

dog days

it's hot!  and i'm not complaining that it's hotter than the hinges at high noon in hell.  i would not dare complain after all the bitching and moaning i did all spring about rain, clouds, no sun and yadda yadda yadda.  just sayin' it's HOT... which is a good thing for the newly dyed roving i hung out in the sun.  it's dry just 2 hours later!  sadly, i just might hate the color of it.  was going for a sort of celery color with hint of butter yellow and it's not that.  way too much yellow... too acid.  maybe i'll dye another batch in soft buttery yellow and do one ply of each.  it could work out for the next project.

called Taiga by tweedysheep.  gotta get the spinning done so i can work on the sweater while on the Alaska cruise in a few weeks.  Kate and i were going to take spinning wheels with us, then the travel arrangements for getting to Vancouver, BC got a little more complicated than just driving up there.  Jim and i will take amtrak to seattle the day before, stay overnight with the kids, then take amtrak from Everett to Vanc. and bus or taxi to everwhere the ship sails.  so will take knitting and my audio books and camera.  we'll be taking the inside passage, which should give us lots of beautiful sights of glaciers, whales and who knows what!  stopping in 3 ports and have a couple of excursions planned and museums and shopping.  i think it will be a fabulous week!

it's hot!  dog days of august!  tomatoes might ripen!!  bountiful baskets full of zucchini and cucumbers and yellow squash!  roses are blooming their little hearts out and sunflowers getting big, with promises of flowers soon!  i'm not complaining.

found some of the mosaic photos and put them into the august 4th post, in case anyone wants to see them.  i think i'll put more up later.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

random thoughts

and THIS is a baby pomegranate and there's a 2nd one also.  this is exciting!!  (ok... some days it does not take much).  i have since covered both of these babies with a little net bonnet so the deer and birds cannot have their way with these tiny fruits.  stay tuned.  and i do hope to see more than just 2.

we have a lovely big old blueberry bush as an edible landscape element and no matter what i do and don't do as far as pruning, watering, fertilizing, it usually puts on a nice big crop.  some years we have a nice harvest... and then there's years like this one when the birds and the deer have their way (and feast).  this handful is what i managed to harvest..... and then i get blue bird poop on my white patio chairs.  reminds me of the old guy with a big splat of bird poop on his head who looks skyward and whines "what's up with this, Lord?  they sing for everyone else."

and from Pinterest came this, which i like.

from the archives of several years ago when i went with Lynne for a spinning class in Alabama.  that was a really memorable weekend... good fun, good people, lots of good fiber and spinning!

her name if Thelma, but i call her Junior.  my very dear friend Anna sent me this wonderful addition to my garden art and quirky stuff!  i love having a dear friend who feeds my quirkiness even tho it is the opposite of her style.  it's lovely to be appreciated no matter how weird one's leanings.

and my question of the day is:  where the bloody hell are my minions??  just one would be fine, more would be a bonus!  every day there's more stuff around here that i just do not want to deal with.... most of it having to do with dog hair, dust and dirt.  then there's the state of mess and disorganization in pantry and cupboards.  what we need is a general huge big time purge.  and i cannot even contemplate my massive and unfettered stash of yarn and unspun fiber.  i've been on a spinning binge lately... mostly inspired by the wonderful batts i created on Kate's motorized Duncan carder... OH YES!  didn't hold back on the silk, angora, alpaca and it's been such a tactile fibergasmic experience to spin that i've been dyeing more that i found in my studio to stockpile for future carding time.  so, it is obvious that i have no time after fiber and garden and computer and friends and grandkids to spend on uninteresting and totally boring things like dirt and dust and dog hair.  i NEED some minions!

Saturday, August 04, 2012

getting old

and i'm working on this every day!

mosaic fascination

fabulous!! the 16th Avenue Tiled Steps Project in San Francisco
beautiful mosaic fascinates and intrigues me!  i love it!!!  isn't this great?  it makes me smile.

i saw some truly amazing mosaics in Greece.  have a photo somewhere of one in the ruins of Alexander the Great's palace which i had thoughts of trying to graph and knit it on a sweater.  it's one of those thoughts that's still around somewhere in my brain and i may do something with it one of these days.  also, at Ephesus in Turkey there were some amazing mosaics, left from hundreds of years ago with the color still lovely.  i'll find some of those photos and put them on here.

i found one from an ancient small chapel in a cave on the island of Samos

i've been saving pieces of broken dishes and pottery and tiles for a long time, with the idea of making stepping stones in my garden.  and that, too, might come to fruition some day...  another one of those nebulous things.  still trying to figure out just when is "some day".  

tuesday, august 14 -

this one was at Ephesus

this is my most favorite and is the one i'd thought of charting out and knitting onto a sweater.  it is a marvel to me that these floor mosaics have survived hundreds of years with the color and pattern intact!

from Alexander the Great's palace in Pella, northern Greece. amazing!

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

one of the new roses.  i was so excited to see it in bloom!!  it's a hybrid tea and is covered in buds.

simple gifts = flowers all around.

if you look really closely, you can see the teeny tiny flowers on the young olive trees!  gives me hope that our harvest this year will be more than 17

Jim watching the olive trees grow....