Sunday, September 23, 2007


Is it even worth watering the garden anymore? I have such a feeling of guilt when I purposefully allow it to die back. Oh, yes, I know ... it all will live again to see another day. But, watching the zinnias shrivel up and die. And then the rudbeckia wither away. And then the sad-sack hanging ferns - leaf by endless leaf - thinning. And, of course, the elephant ears ... once majestic green and tall, now with rivers of yellow in their veins looking so forlorn.
The recent shock of cold (several nights in the 40s, a few "kissing" the freezing mark) have sent the plants' sugars racing towards the root balls and have spurred on new growth ... the anthuriums especially. Check it out -

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Oh! The sunflower!

This was the first year I've planted sunflowers, but it won't be the last. I grew them from seeds and they eventually peaked at almost 7 feet tall. These sunflower plants were rather scraggy - meaning the leaves weren't really that robust ... the stalks were yellowish ... but the flowers, OH! the sunflowers! Check out my pix ... with a lazy bumble bee on it. As usual, the photo doesn't really reflect the intense colors ... here a deep maroon - almost black - petal. And while the 'big boys' (the first heads to bloom) were enormous (about 8 inches in diameter), the blossoms now are rather small (about 2 inches in diameter). Not long ago, having coffee on the porch, I saw a family of finches trying to get loose some of those tightly packed sunflower seeds. The flower heads attract bees galore ... and the bees gorge on them ... unwilling to let go. I find them in the morning, drunk and sluggishly embedded in the center part of the flowers. Very ornery. Best to let them be until the sun warms them up. Then it's ok to swat them off and cut the flowers so I can enjoy them inside.

Monday, September 3, 2007

For and From my Knittin' pals

From and for my knittin' pals ...

A knit swap ... how fun! Here's my Xmas around the World Knitters Swap questionnaire:

Are you religious? yes ... spiritual and Catholic (or, rather, Catholic and spiritual)
How long have you been knitting? All my life, though I picked it up again this past winter, 30 years after my mom put my first pair of knitting needles in my hands. I'm a beginner, but there is nothing that my mom and I couldn't conquer.
Do you have any other hobbies besides knitting? Reading, Gardening, and avoiding homework.
Favorite color(s)? Favorite color today? Green. Soft, mint green.
Do you collect anything? I'm partial to funky purses.
Are you allergic to any fibers or animals? I'm allergic to cats. That doesn't diminish my love and devotion to my outdoor cat, Bootsy.
Do you have any pets? Yes. Bootsy and Bronson - 8 year old yellow lab.
Coffee, Tea, or Hot Chocolate? Oh my! Hot chocolate.
Cookies or Sweets? Cookies. Better yet, cookie dough.
Do you knit socks? Haven't tried yet.
If not socks then what? (tell us about your favorite knits) So far, I've knit a scarf (the endless scarf) and 2 purses. My next project is a hat.
Do you put up a Christmas tree? Absolutely. And I leave it up as long as I possibly can.
Favorite holiday treats? Christmas cookies - all kinds
Favorite holiday smells? Pine.
Do you celebrate Christmas in a traditional or unconventional way? Please elaborate. Traditional filled with family. Though one favorite memory was when mom and dad were recovering from pneumonia. I stayed home and took a long walk around the lake. It was deserted, white, and filled with potential for the new year!
What are your favorite holiday traditions? Being the 'gift-passer-outter' at our traditional Christmas Eve meal. Though I'm well into my 40s, and there are young-uns that want to take on that responsibility, it's mine ... all mine.
Finish the sentence: “For me Christmas is all about....” Reading Frost's "Stopping By the Woods on a Snowy Evening," Christmas Eve appetizers and champagne at the folks', Christmas meal at my sister's in my pajamas and dozens of friends and family (in their pajamas).
If you were a Christmas ornament you would be…….? RED!
What was your favorite gift you've ever received? A box of old piano sheet music. My mom and I spent the entire vacation playing duets. Or given? Pictures. Being the family archivist, it's fun to come up with creative gifts using old Prom photos and the like.
When do you start your Christmas? As soon as the tree is up, the Saturday after Thanksgiving.
Do you send Christmas cards? Sometimes. Do you make them or buy them? Both.
What is your favorite Christmas dish? anything cheesy
Carolers are at your door. What do you do? Beg to join them on their rounds.
When do you open presents? Eve.
Do you celebrate with family or friends or both? BOTH!

Thanks to the gals who've organized and arranged this! How fun! Thanks in advance to my special knittin' pal.