Monday, August 27, 2012

Back to the Garden

 The weather has been pleasant enough this past week or so for me to get back out to my gardens.  They have been quite neglected since the heat arrived in late June! 
I allow many annuals to self seed, but usually try to contain them to the beds.  This year, they had invaded the walkways so enthusiastically, I couldn't bear to remove them.

This is the front walkway filled with snapdragons and asters, along with the odd Johnny jump-ups.
 This is the back stairway to the porch (or "veranda" I am told, since it goes around the corner of the house).  Pardon the cord which powers the tools building our new garage.  The artemesia of a sort I have forgotten, and the blue ajuga have filled in nicely between the paving stones. The snapdragons have made their way here as well!

 These are two of my favorites- all volunteers! - the purple is zebrina malva and the blue is convolvulus.  Don't they look lovely all blended together?

We have our annual visit form a neighborhood frog to the rain barrel.  I cannot imagine where they live near us as there is no water near by and this summer has been exceedingly dry. Yet, there he was this morning.  And a good thing, too since the rain barrel is filled with mosquito larvae.

Thinking green this week gives me a chance to mention the paper that can be saved by receiving bills electronically.  (with apologies top the postal service!)  If just 20% of American households switched from paper to electronic bills, we could save 1,811,275 trees and avoid 2 million tons of greenhouse gases.

I am grateful for:
My sweet new kitten, George- who is finally adjusting to her new home.
The peace I find in the garden.
Comfortable routines.
Sleeping under a quilt with the windows open on cool summer nights.
Fresh, crisp and juicy apples!

Monday, August 20, 2012

I love to colorize!

I was the kid who upon opening a new box of crayons would take them all out and rearrange them so they were in their proper color order.  When I worked at Joann, I was obsessed with keeping the calico wall in it's proper order.
 And now I arrange all of my supplies by color as well.  Today I put my rayon threads into their new organizer- by color of course. 
Oh NO!  That grey one is in the wrong spot- how did that happen!!!) I'm sure if that must say something about my personality- even if it's just that I'm anal-retentive.

Last week a friend who I had helped with a knitting lesson thanked me with a big box of chocolates from Oliver's candies.  I never accept payment for things like this, but told her I never say no to chocolate- thinking of a bag of Hershey kisses. 
It's true- chocolate is the cure- no matter the 'illness"
(except maybe my a-r/ OCD- above)

I have nothing new to show this week since I had absolutely NO sewing time!  Imagine- a whole week without even sitting down at my sewing machine!!!!  I don't remember doing anything wrong, but it felt like punishment.

My Green Tip this time is a simple one:
Remember to unplug the chargers from the wall.  These small devices can be "energy vampires".
 Actually there are many things you should unplug.  I can hear a faint hum from the speakers of my cd player if it's plugged in when it's turned off- so obviously it's drawing power! 

I am grateful for:
George is settling in little by little.
Having something to offer
Hugs- which I heard once called an "emotional Heimlich"
The people who adopt the kittens I fostered.
The relaxation techniques which helped me at the dentist today

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

A busy if unproductive week

The new Queen of the castle.
This is George. SHE is one of the kittens I was fostering, who decided to stay.  George and her littermates, all girls as it turns out, were VERY shy when I got them.  It hardly seemed a good way to get them to trust me to root around under their tails first thing. But they all got names based on their personality. Tim was timid, Boo played peek-a-boo with me, and George was curious- the first to come over and inspect me.  I don't usually adopt kittens, but she wormed her way into my heart.  So here she will stay.  I'd like to get a better picture of her if she ever sits still long enough.

Three of the other kittens went to the shelter last week and I am happy to report two of them had found homes within 5 days of arriving!  The last of this batch will go in this weekend, then I may be starting over with a new batch- tiny ones!
I took my sewing machine in for its 10,000 mile check up the other day.  I probably take better care if it than I do my car!
This morning I actually went out to the garden and cleaned up a section or two.  I had left it since it got so hot and dry. Nothing was growing and even if there were weeds, the ground was like bedrock!  Now that we've been getting rain, it's pretty "lush" out there. (Nice words for weedy, huh?)

These flowers are part of the decorations for the Museum Quilt Guild show coming in October.  One of our members designed them.  The stem is a yardstick!  Isn't that clever? I can't wait to see the 50 of them she estimates we will have around the bases of the quilt racks!

On the subject of cats and kittens, did you know clay litter is not actually earth friendly?  It's the process used to acquire the clay that is the problem.  There are alternatives at your local pet store!  Give them a try.

I am grateful for:
Being part of an incredibly caring group of ladies
A best friend who gave me a day of her precious time
A new kitty in my life!
Cooler weather, especially the nights
winning the boss lottery

Monday, August 6, 2012

Just plain miserable!

This summer has been brutal for a person (me) who is not a summer lover.  I like spring- once the mud is gone.  Once the temperature goes over 80, I am uncomfortable. Over 85, I'm miserable. I'm not sure the daytime high has been under 85 very often this summer.  It's a wonder I haven't been arrested.  That's how miserable I am.

Apparently this succulent plant has a different opinion.  It lives on the screen porch every summer, and has never blossomed before. Not the most impressive blossom, but interesting in its own way!

I did manage to spend enough time in the sewing room- on the second floor where it gets much too hot to work by 2 pm most days- this week to finish the portrait quilt I started last year in a class at the Museum Quilt Guild.  (still need to get the chalk washed off- sorry)

This is my husband and my older son.  Guy was about 10 months old here.  I was working full time and this picture was tacked up above my work station.  I can't recall what was happening when this was taken. Our house at the time had one big room- living and dining room.  The couch sort of divided the space. I was probably folding laundry at the table when the men peeked over the couch to say "Hi Mommy!"- the name I gave this piece.
Now I have to find a picture of Lucas to do....

My green tip this time is to remind you the local farmers have been working hard to get fresh produce grown for us in western NY.  There are farmer's markets everywhere, nearly every day of the week- and roadside stands.  Don't buy fruit that has to be transported across the country, using valuable resources and producing tons of greenhouse gases, when you can get it fresh off the tree! 

I am grateful for:
Sewing time
Great authors and the talented people who perform them on audiobooks
Sleeping with the windows open enjoying fresh cool air
Frozen desserts
My grill has a burner so I don't have to use the stove at all on hot days!