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Just chatty…

Beautiful spring day. I went over the hill  to tend to some business and hit the grocery store. On the way back I spotted a column of smoke at the end of Derrick. I thought it was someone burning brush. Could have been, I guess, but a bit ago I got a call from a neighbor saying it was a one acre wild fire and that both volunteer fire companies & the USFS were there in force!  That’s sorta good, but it left no personal or vehicle when an accident call came in, so the highway patrol ended up sending a chopper to that ‘event’. the fire’s over the hill from us and as today is a not too hot, still green, and a still day I expect they’ll get ti down in a short time.

Meantime, I’m getting the garden planted and the early flowers are starting to bloom. My prettiest iris has put up a second stalk!

And my little tomato experiment has succeeded beyond my best hopes! I wasn’t able to find a ‘cherry’ tomato at the nursery so I saved a small yellow and a small red out of the basket I bought at Costco some time ago. I think there are maybe more ‘plum’ than cherry, but they’re small. Some years ago we kept heirloom seed and we were told to ferment them so I kind of applied that to these. I’ve had them come up in the garden from dropped fruit so I  filled the pots with a combo of potting soil and dirt and smashed each tomato into a pot and covered it lightly with soil, watered it, and put the lids on. Several days later I checked and there was every sign that fermentation was going on! 🙂 Sometime later with the lids only partly on to keep the soil moist, I spotted green! There were several in the red pot but only one in the yellow. But that’s okay, I really only need one. But guess what?!  I am unable to kill these little baby plants so I am going to have to find a lot of friends in need to tomato plants! Red on the left, yellow on the right.

As for weaving and knitting, well, not much these days of getting the garden ready. Did I say the alpaca project was a bust? I got about 8″ of ribbing done and decided to try it on. Nope. There is no way a human being could wear that garment. It was not only huge, it was just weird. So it goes into the frog pond. I’ll find another use for the squares but the ribbing was a lot of wasted effort. Except I guess I learned something, not sure what just yet but I’m sure it was something! lol I’m knitting on my Tee, It’s top down and I just got past the vee neck so there are at least several months of knitting left! It gets a row or two during the evening ball game on the radio.

We have a huge population of birds this year and have had some we’re not see before. One that says, “kitty, kitty, kitty”. I’m told it’s a titmouse but they dont’ seem to be in California. At least the one that sings like that isn’t. Anybody know what it might be? Lots of gross beaks and tho they do “sing”, they just never shut up so it’s very noisy around here. I’m hoping that’ll change once the nesting season is over. The Robins have taken over one of the Jays nest sites. There was a bit of a confrontation over it but the robin won. The jays are losing out all around. They have been nesting here for some 30 years at least, but they lost the ‘discussion’ with the gross beak in the rose bush the other day, too. I don’t think they  wanted her nest, I think they just thought she was too close to theirs.

But my Super mulch garden seems to have worked. At least when I moved the mulch back this week, it is working with earthworms. The tomatoes and peppers I planted look quite happy out there. I’ll probably plant beans this next week, too, unless it does get cold as they seem to be forecasting. Not cold enough to have to cover, but just a little chilly. Himself planted his corn (I think it’s a waste of space) but he’s got a Plan. He planted it and covered it with black plastic, says it would heat up the soil. He checks it daily just in case any green shows up. He and dog have gone up to check the water in Treasure Creek and see what the beavers have been up to!

Well, I guess that takes care of chatter for today! I hope you’re having a lovely warm spring. Unlike Denver, where the Giant and the Rockies played baseball in a snow storm yesterday!

 

Up next is…

It was supposed to be my new sweater but  was not working out for that. I bought this alpaca yarn on a good sale as it was being discontinued so I have a limited amount to work with. It’s Blue Sky, I’m sure I can get more. I think it was just the colorways that were being discontinued. Anyway, I think I found a way to use all these 12″ squares. It’s a knitting pattern but so simple that it will work for the squares. It’s just a matter of will it fit me?! I’m forging ahead and hoping for the best! lol

So here’s my layout. I have enough (I hope) Navy to knit the ribbing. If not I also still have some of the colors so it could be as colorful, almost, as the squares. Well, these are the blocks but I cannot get a picture of my present layout. It’s a camera issue. But this one is going to take awhile as I did not weave the ends in as I went. I’m sure I have advised you to do so, in the past. I guess this is another case of “do as I say, not as I do!’ lol It will be sewn together with an overhand stitch. Pinned each time to avoid stretching out of shape. It’s a very soft yarn. Soft and drape-y.

 

       

The other thing is that it is also getting toward gardening season. The rain (knock knock) has stopped and the sun is out. Water is quite high in streams and the lake. We’ll have a full lake this summer! Took a ride north yesterday and got a picture of Scott Mountain creek! It hasn’t run like this in years! I wish you could hear it as well. It was Roaring!! Love it! all the branch creeks and seasonal streamlets were adding to it and by the time it reached the Trinity River and on down the canyon to join Coffee Creek, that one was roaring as well! But CC does not seem close at all to flood tho a lot of people who have moved up here in recent years may be a bit anxious since they’ll never have seen spring run-off.

 

Memorial Day

I spent most of memorial day the way my Dad would have. Working in the garden. He was a vet but mostly he was a gardener. Randy, with my help, got the fence up around the new bed and I planted the first plants. Two zucchini and one unknown from the compost pile that I think may be a cucumber. There’s also a Borage for the bees.

 

The white around the plants is crushed egg shell. Hoping to keep hungry crawlies at bay. The sharpish edges are supposed to discourage them. If they happen to have wings or are good jumpers, I guess that will be in vain, but I’m trying.  There should be more melons and winter squash along soon and we’re saving a space for some corn and sunflowers.

I also tried out my new Mean Green Machine, a food processor, gifted to me by my MIL. I mentioned that I was wanting one and she said she was never going to use this one. I have been trying to decided between a new bread machine or one of these guys. I only have room for one. Today’s recipe turned out well, but it was a bit big for this machine. I’ll try a smaller recipe next time, but if I can get one that’s worth while I think the bread machine will lose its place as I can use this one for chopping dog’s veggies, too! And there’s even the possibility for finding other uses for it!

Now I think it’s time to go try out the new recipe for oven-fried chicken. Sometimes my excursions into cooking turn out well. I hope this one does and I am already hungry for it! Hope your weekend is as lovely as ours is starting!

PS: The chicken tasted good but it was certainly not Crispy, as the recipes author promised. 😦

Photgraphy lesson: “Architecture” ,

  

  

The Jays know how to keep their young families safe from cruising ravens. They build under, usually under an overhanging roof if they can find one. We’ve been raising Stellar Jays for many years. I like to think it’s great great grandchildren returning every spring. The one on the tree branch is really a squirrel nest but the Jays play around in it, too. We raised two families this spring. I think they’ve abandoned the one in the rose bush that they used for years because we use the deck out there now at that time of the year and they feel that’s a little close, I suppose.  But the other two are on opposite sides of the house. The first one is the newest nest. Randy put up the shelf brackets and strung chicken wire between them as a platform. It was in self defense as they wanted to build in his supply of fence panels and we were going to be needing them!

But the subject is architecture. They build rather free form but it is a tight and sturdy nursery. And safe, as I have mentioned. We have other birds around but these are the only ‘house’ birds. I had a house wren build a nest in the pocket of a pair of my pants which were hanging on the clothes line. By the time they were done with it the pants were pretty faded but I could not bring myself to oust them.

A quick note…

I posted  again under Pages but it apparently doesn’t send out or post to facebook. I need to explore this option more, I guess. Anyway, if you want to see the bit about weaving with wire you’ll find the link above.

MIL goes home tomorrow so I’ll be spending the last day with her. We’ve had a fun week but naturally I haven’t got a lot done on the looms or in the garden. Hope you are enjoying these brief spring (or autumn) days! It’s been lovely weather here. Two signs of spring.. Lupin and strawberries!

Water..

Anther blog photo lesson. Water is an important subject now days. Seems like there is either not enough of it or there is too much of it. This year we appear to be edging onto not enough here. And it’s spring with summer not looking wet at this point. But immediately water to me means Treasure Creek, the stream running though my garden. Not very big but a pretty stream, it’s my “white noise”, masking traffic on the road and loud talking neighbors. Dog can get a drink, I can dip my watering can in there to refresh any dry looking plants and local wildlife take advantage of it too. We see frogs and some little trouts.

 

And last summer we had a family of raccoons wading up steam. Not unusual to see one or two but these were 4 babies and I got some fuzzy pictures. I spooked them and they hid behind an alder and peeked around at me. Of course, the camera focused on the maples leaves in front of me where I wasn’t paying attention. Still a cute, if fuzzy shot, I think. And one with Water! 🙂

 

Home Sweet Home

The next stage of my learning to blog properly has to do with taking and posting photos. I don’t think I am too bad at photography, tho I have never made a study of it ‘for arts sake’. But the subject for today was “Home”.  I took two pics and grayed them into one. This is home to me. Billy’s Peak and my deck with the roses growing over it. They are red and white as I have shown many times before but am using this occasion to do Art. More or less. Our place is almost directly under the peak, well, about 5000′ under it, but not way out in front as in this shot, but to me it still contains the two most important parts of Home.