Saturday, June 23, 2007

Here are some photos to back up my last post!

The first time I saw a passion flower I couldn't believe it was real.

The first little rose bud. It is a David Austin climbing rose called 'Mme Alfred Carrière.'

Three ripe little strawberries from a woefully neglected strawberry plant.

Ta da! Our first true leaves on some Thumbelina carrots.

A baby Limmony tomato!

Grow, Beefsteak, grow!

This is rather interesting. We have a crab spider that lives in our large lavender bush. The crab spider is mostly or all white and it doesn't spin a web. It sits in the same spot with its arms stretched out and waits for a bee to fly into them. She had this bee by a bite just above the eyes. The next day I went out and she had caught another, and it was still alive and kicking. She had a hold of it around its head and was biting in the same spot that she bit the one below. (I don't know why, but I think of most spiders as a she, but not all.)

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Summer is here!

Happy Solstice!

After two warm days, there are a couple of little baby tomatoes on the plants, three ripe strawberries, true leaves on many of the carrot seedlings and the passion flower vine opened! I also noticed the first rosebud on my new climbing rose!

Monday, June 18, 2007

What would a 50s housewife do?

Growing up, I didn't have a particularly good role model for keeping a neat house, unless of course, you count June Cleaver.

I have always idolized her and her perfect (TV) house, but never thought I could aspire to such perfection. Then yesterday, I read a post over at Little Jenny Wren and in her post she linked to another's post. I must say, I admire the woman who wrote it. She is doing more than I would ever consider doing towards keeping a June Cleaver home, but what really struck me was the pride she had in it all. I could really use a helping of that. Now, I am not going to get up before everyone, shower, dress, put on make-up etc, to put breakfast on the table, but I started thinking "What would a 50s housewife do?" or "Would a 50s housewife do that?" when I was going about my day. I felt like I was working on something positive. I started expanding that thinking.

I realized that a 50s housewife wouldn't have a pile of garbage sitting in the hall from the remodel, just because no one had taken the time to put it out at the curb. The bedroom closet in a 50s house wouldn't be filled with boxes. There would be clothes in the closet. (We have a garage where boxes etc could go, but it is in a pretty disastrous state, too.) I thought of our linen closet which has house painting supplies, a broken clock radio, a light fixture cover etc, and yet our towels are piled on a bookcase in another part of the house, albeit close to the bathroom, but not actually in a closet built for the purpose of housing them. If I start putting things where they belong, towels in the linen cupboard, clothes in the closet, and removing things that don't belong, paint supplies to the garage, broken clock radio in to the trash, we will be able to not only find things, but find places for all of the random things, even if that means donating them or putting them in the trash.

Reading back over this, I know what I have written would be obvious to most, but I am rather excited that I've found a new way to look at it all.

p.s. A friend of mine is working on getting her family's finances in hand. One idea she had that I thought was particularly clever was to have the homepage of her web browser set to her bank account, so that whenever she went to check email or whatever she would see it and be aware of what was going on in her account.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

There have been a few drafts

since the last time I posted but none have been posted. I haven't posted for a number of reasons. None of them are sinister. A bit of the energy I used to put toward blogging has gone to I've recorded a few things (I'm not saying which) and I've listened to a fair number as well. There have also been the usual hobbies, knitting, reading, gardening and life, that have gotten in the way.

There is a knit baby gift that is in the offing, but it is taking a long time. I'm quite pleased with it though. Soon I will be able to post a picture of it. The baby has been born, and I was lucky enough to be present. Can I tell you, there are few occupations more worthwhile than being at a birth and being useful. I have acted as a doula for several of my friends, but now I think it is time to branch out. I can't do it too often, but about four to six times a year will be just right.

My next knitting project will be Monica from the Spring edition of Knitty. Fiona and I chose Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece Cherry Moon and Prosperous Plum. Here is the color card. I'm going to take a chance and work this in the round. I just don't feel like doing all of the knitting then purling. I want something mindless and relatively quick. I'm setting her birthday as my finishing goal.

The garden. I've planted a passion flower vine in the front to climb up the wires from the utility pole that is on the property line. It looks as if the buds will open any day now. June weather is never particularly warm here, so I am waiting for July. The heat it brings will surely open up the flowers.

My husband helped me plant a climbing rose. It is looking a little pale, but I think I am just nervous about it. The trellis/arch for it to climb is laying in the front yard. It has been a bit challenging to get it up, just right. We will try again after the first of the week.

My brother built a lovely raised vegetable bed for me, and my husband moved 5 yards of dirt into it. So far I've planted four kinds of tomatoes and two kinds of carrots. The tomatoes are Sweet Million (cherry), Egg Yolk (cherry), Limmony (slicing) and Beefsteak (slicing). The carrots are Thumbelina and Yaya.

Our main bathroom has been torn apart for remodeling for ages, and recently we have started making some progress. We have a lovely tile floor now and a re-glazed bathtub. We've had one plumbing contractor in for a quote and we will be having another soon. Our kitchen sink drains into the same pipe at the same point as the bathroom sink. This wouldn't be too much of a problem, except there is a garbage disposal in the kitchen sink that shoots chewed up food bits and yucky water into the bathroom sink. Charming! So we are going to get it all magically rerouted so we can have the garbage disposal and a food-free bathroom sink. We also had an old toilet that used something like 5 gallons of water per flush. That will be replaced with a 1.6 gallon toilet. I'm hoping we can find a good price on a dual flush toilet.

Our house didn't really seem like our house until we started doing things to it. We painted the bedrooms and then the living room. That really made it feel like home. The more we do to it, the less I think of leaving it. When we bought the house we only expected to stay in it for 5 years, and then find something better. It's been three years and now I only think about staying.

Here is a picture from earlier this spring when we went out to the tulip fields.