Saturday, April 30, 2011

Da Brudders agree...

It was a great day for a picnic!

I took it as a sign when The Mama of da brudders sent an email saying "I've got to get out of the house this weekend" and The Claw sent an email within the hour saying "Have you ever gone on a picnic down by the river?" and the weather people said the sun would shine. She picked the time, he picked the place, I packed the picnic (sandwiches like Mr. Sophanne makes for my lunches- they get such rave reviews at school), and the sun came through.

We threw balls, played with trucks, played in sand, slid down poles and fed the geese. And there was zero whining or crying from anyone-just a lot of playing in the sunsilence- the kind that cleanses rain-worn weariness. Just happy kids. Actually the fact that there was NONE of that IS kind of weird. But not as weird as this:

This kid's mom spent her time at the park talking loudly on the cell phone, eating chinese food, and ignoring the fact that her kid was bullying other kids. She might have spent her time better checking out what the other kids were wearing.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

We Have Sprouts...
And How!

Those roots were bustin' out all over. I feel a little bit sad for the sprouts that don't have a peat pot yet but I'm thinking I already have more than I need and maybe I'll plant those at the side of the house to feed the bunnies.

SuperSecretarySandy (she's an Administrative Assistant and her day is tomorrow but I like alliteration) is my favorite person in the whole school. She's who I eat lunch with and sometimes we go to the hidey hole. She's farmed and "cowed" (not really a word) all her life but probably isn't having a garden this year. So I put this little something together for her. I'd take her on a vacation if reality let things like that happen.

Chickens in the Road is one of my most favorite non-knitting blogs. Suzanne lives on a farm in the country and has a cow named Beulah Petunia who had a calf named Glory Bee. One of her goats, Clover, surprised her by being pregnant and having a baby. I can't explain to you how funny this is- she's just an excellent writer and fun to read. Her barnyard pictures rock. Her blog is divided up into categories somehow (but not that new annoying typepad kind of way) that I haven't figured out but if you like a little non-commercial baryard living check her out. (unsolicited promotion- I just want to have someone else to laugh with when things like "CLOVER IS HAVING A BABY!" happen.)

Also sleeve number one on the effortless cardigan is about 2/3's done (yes kmkat- you do know that yarn.) It feels a little snug but I know how Lavold silky wool can stretch upon blocking so I'm crossing my fingers. I can never remember the name effortless and often want to call it the neverending cardigan but really it's been a most pleasant and unoffensive top-down knit.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Friday, April 22, 2011

“First Ever Garden” Lessons Part the One

Restraint. More is not always better. Less is often more.

It would have been easy in the delusional world of the first garden to try and make this bad boy 30’x 30’. Had we gone with those first instincts it would have been an exercise in futility. That’s too much work. We wouldn’t do it. We’d get discouraged, tired and cranky at not living up to each other’s expectations. 12’x 10’ is big enough to be proud of and small enough not to be too disappointed if things don’t work out exactly as we had hoped.

We are eager to “brew” good soil. There is so much advice to be had. I believe we have talked each other out of adding 20 bags of top soil along with the peat, lime, and horseshit we’ve already added. There really are no shortcuts. Give it a little help and then dig in the dirt. A lot.

Perspective. Work isn’t work if it’s play time together.

While driving home from work last week I found myself complaining in my head. “I have to work in the garden when I get home. I’m so tired. I don’t want to.” After a short nap I took my little rakey thing, sat my ass next to the garden and got to "work". After about 10 minutes I realized this wasn’t really work- it was just playing in the dirt. I’ve seen kids enjoy the hell out of that and it worked for me. Add to the mix that I was pretending to be a pirate digging for buried treasure (rocks) and it was really much easier and kind of fun.

There's GOLD in that there dirt!

One reason we decided on a garden is because we love each other and we love our dog who loves to be outside. I’m not very good at being outside. Maybe I have some long buried traumatic experience but ask me to go sit out on the porch and I am as twitchy as a sleeping puppy.

Yesterday while digging for buried treasure, the sun was shining on my face and the dog was checking in with a zillion kisses every 10 minutes. HELLO! That was awesome. I stopped digging for a while and rolled with the dog in the grass. What A Blast. Somewhere as we grow up we no longer think to just say “hey honey, I’m going to go outside and roll with the dog in the grass in the sunshine.” Gardening makes this possible in the misguided adult world without feeling like “this is really weird- I’m going back inside.”

There are other lessons (hope, persistence, patience and negotiation) that have come to mind but I’ll save those for another post. In the meantime, here are some bibb lettuce seedlings going on and a “Jiffy Garden” seed starter waiting to happen.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

More gardening

As per the suggestion of the wise Claw, you will notice a new page on the sidebar called how does your garden grow. There I will be taking the picture updates and keeping a photoblog of the Anniversary Garden.

After advice from those who know, we purchased some lime, peat moss and horse manure. We spread it out in between rains, will let it soak into the ground a little bit and will continue to break up the soil. As the Claw wondered in a former life, WHO PLANTED ALL OF THOSE ROCK SEEDS? They did a good job! We have Beefsteak Rocks.

New Straw Hat- a must at only $5.99!

Mr. Sophanne and his new pitchfork- I don't know how much it was but I'm sure it was not the deal that the hat was.

The color of dirt (apologies to the color blind)

Friday, April 15, 2011

a stay at home adventure

Almost one month into the "anniversary garden" you can see that progress is being made. There were (and still are) many big rocks and a lot of clay but Mr.Sophanne is persistent.

And he finds time to play with the dog too.

We have 4ft high rabbit fence and green metal posts to attach it to but that won't happen until we can remove more rocks and put down a layer of topsoil.

I think I heard him singing this...

I could be handy mending a fuse when your lights have gone
You can knit a sweater by the fireside, Sunday mornings, go for a ride
Doing the garden digging the weeds, who could ask for more
Will you still need me, will you still feed me, when I’m sixty-four?

o.k. not really but if he thought of it he would.

In other updatey kind of news- the ribbing will remain the same color- redsilvia's comment about changed ribbing color drawing attention to the ass sealed the deal.

The latest obsession (which has slowed down the knitting process) is my reacquaintance with the ukulele and a musician's toy- a program for the mac called "Band in A Box."

These are my secret ways to let summer vacation know that I'm ready when it is. Also I feel terribly clever when I think to take a picture of my computer screen and can remember how to do it.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

gratuitous dog photos

The sun finally came out today and GoodneighborEllen brought out her Boston Terrier to enjoy it. His name is Oreo and sadly he is deaf. This does not stop he and Liza from playing dog games. I think they look so funny together- like Dr. Evil and Mini-me

Saturday, April 09, 2011


If you're a knitter and you have some time, open this ravelry page (effortless cardigan) in a new page and look at the sweater.

Then come back to me and tell me what you think about me changing the color of the ribbing to one of the four in the picture (I'm calling them 12:00, 3:00, 6:00 and 9:00)

My first instinct was 3:00 but you know how I love that color. My second instinct was 6:00 because then it would be lovely with black or brown clothes. My third instinct was "different colored ribbing"? That's stupid.

After the Sharpie Adult Suprize Jacket, I'm inclined to seek out honest opinions before I mindlessly knit, knowing that my blog friends have a little more visual class than I do.

And if you don't have a ton of time to look at the sweater, feel free to chime in on which pairing your eyes prefer for the ribbing in a slouchy sweater.

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Hi Blog.

This post has no point. Let's call it a crack me up post.

Our measuring cups are in hiding. Mr. Sophanne swears he didn't put them anywhere but they are not where I put them.

I am baking gingersnaps. The recipe calls for 3/4 c of shortening or oil. I had to use the 1/4 c measuring cup from a set that is all in pieces. I only put in one 1/4 c. I think. Or maybe it was three. I'm not sure. So I put in 2 more. There is either 3/4 c of oil in them or 5/4 c. in them.

This is why baking is not a recommended career for the attention deficit.

Other random thoughts- we (and by we I mean Mr. Sophanne) watched some ridiculous zombie movie with Dennis Hopper in it which made me wonder why zombies just don't eat each other. I also wondered if the zombie food network has cooking shows.

Last week I was looking for songs about camels (for kids.) The standard "Alice's Camel" appeared on iTunes as well as a piece from the album "100 Rap Instrumentals." These 3-5 minute gems are backing tracks for would be rap artists.

In the same way that my brain believes that one day it will speak and comprehend all of the Romance languages with a snap of a finger, it also believes that given a proper backing track, it will be a rap star.

Words don't actually come out in either situation but the head bobbing and feigning of comprehension and participation is the same.

That's what the world needs- a Knitting Buddhist Rap Star with a very clever dog. (excuse me while I pause to riff on the words knit and purl)

One other thing that has me laughing while 1st graders are watching it is Jerry Lewis' performance of the Typewriter Song. It's pretty funny by itself but it's even funnier when you watch 6-7 year olds try to do it with him. Soon I will be searching the attic of the Aunt of Sophanne looking for some discarded manual typewriters so that I can let the kids take "typing solos." If I find more than one, I can have "Dueling Typewriters."

I'm knitting the Effortless Cardigan by Hannah Fettig (rav link) in Lavold Silky Wool.

I took a break from Columbo to watch season one of The Twilight Zone (1959) on Netflix.

The dog delivers my tennis shoes to my napping self promptly at 5:30 each day.

And I think you're all caught up.