Gardening

The Thrill of Victory and the Agony of Defeat

It’s been a month of highs and lows at my little hacienda. Ta da! Our first egg!

Finally! In all it’s tiny perfection.

We still haven’t ferreted out which of the Hogwart’s four is our layer.  I plan to stalk the henhouse this weekend.  I think it’s Jenny Weasley.

I know I should love them all the same, but Jenny’s my “bff” chicken.  She’s the only one who lets me pet her.  Either that or she’s scared of me and she’s dropping in fear…nah, I’m sticking with the first version where she loves me and lets me pet her.

On with the happenings.  Behold my beautiful garbage can potato plants

Blessedly, we’ve been getting a little rain over the last few weeks.  This time last year, we had already begun our 100+ degree heat and relentless drought conditions.  So again, I say, the rain is a blessing.  A blessing that pairs with oppressive humidity, which  breeds mold and fungus….

Fungus…aka early blight. So…darn…maddening! The potatoes had done so well! I was so proud.  And yes, I know I talking about them like they’re already dead and gone, but my optimism is strained on this one.  I cleaned away most of the speckled leaves.  I did everything I could figure out to do for them. If we can limp along a little, maybe I can salvage new potatoes?

I’m probably a little more upset about the potatoes than is rational because my favorite climbing rose is struggling with a brutal case of Black Spot, and my cucumbers look to have a virulent case of powdery mildew.  I don’t have a green thumb, I have a spotted fungus thumb! So sad…

This climbing beauty will soon be a nubby, aggressively pruned beauty.

But then, there are a few bright spots that balance the spotty victims in my landscape.

My Zinnias from last summer volunteered this year!  I love them!

They’re such a cheerful companion for the herbs and veggies in my raised beds.

My squash and zucchini threaten to overtake their companions…

And if I could get the slugs and beetles to chill on my Mr. Stripey, he promises some tomato goodness very soon. (I couldn’t bear to pull that Zinnia like it was a weed!)

Note the giant Tomatillo plant in the background of the next shot.  It’s been blossoming relentlessly for months.  The butterflies love it!  Unfortunately, they don’t bother to print on the packaging that Tomatillo plants need to cross pollinate in order to fruit.  I have only one…therefore, it will never fruit.

Really?  Don’t you think that might be good information?  To put on the stick with the growing conditions?  Just saying…

But really, who cares about the weird Tomatillo situation when you turn around and find this.

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Crochet

Tunisian…Ta Da!

I completed the first panel of Jennifer Hansen’s Tunisian Multi-Garment!

It was fun.  Learning Tunisian has been very gratifying. These pictures  were taken after my first quick run at blocking.  I still have some perfecting to do with the structure.

I have a sneaky suspicion that I would have been happier with a slightly larger size.  I won’t know for certain until I’ve completed the second panel.  The sizes were based on bust circumference and I think I would prefer a little more length on what will inevitably be the “torso”.  Maybe I’m long-waisted….or maybe my tummy is a little more of an issue than my bust….

The color work is fascinating.  Let it be known, however, that it leaves a gazillion ends to be woven.  Hence the probable delay in starting the second panel for the garment.  I need a little time to forget what a pain those ends were.

All in all, however, I’m extremely pleased!  The Craftsy class on Tunisian was a great experience.  I’ve signed on for three additional classes since beginning the Tunisian.  I’m not sure that the instruction I’m seeing is the same quality that Jennifer Hansen provided in the Tunisian class, but I love the platform and  recommend it for anyone who struggles to find classes available in your location or that work with your schedule.

General

Kreativ – ity

Anna, a phenomenal blogger found at Oceannah on WordPress, has very graciously nominated me for the Kreativ Blogger award.  I’m so flattered!  Thank you!

The first thing I did following anna’s post was Google the award.  There are dozens of different versions of the rules out there! Most of them deal with information posted in groupings of seven, but not all of them do so I’m going to wing it.

First I’m supposed to tell you guys something interesting about myself.  Boo.  I’m terribly interesting, but I can never think of anything under pressure-so here are several random facts:

  • I’m a native Texan. I never planned to remain in rural East Texas.  I just grew up and realized I like it.  When you spend your life in a place, it becomes part of who you are.  Who knows what the future may bring, however.  I never rule out possibilities.
  • I’m the youngest of four and so is my husband.  My sister-in law told us not to get married.  Her theory was that two “youngest” children should never wed because all youngest children are spoiled and selfish and the marriage will inevitably blow up.  We’re 12 years into our marriage, and we’re still ok. Needless to say, she’s an “oldest” child.  You have to take her birth order wisdom with a grain of salt.
  • I love movies based on comic book heroes…all of them.  Spawn is on my top five favorite movies list.  His cape is cool. He was hot before they burned him. The little clown guy is gross. You have to take the bad with the good.
  • As a child I lived in an old school building.  There were chalk boards in all the classrooms, a stage, an auditorium and urinals in the bathrooms.  As one can imagine, living in this environment between the ages of 3 and 12 was awesome!  This was during the 70’s and early 80’s when roller skating (a la Xanadu) was the activity of choice.  I practically had a rink at my disposal.  It helped that my mom and dad put a jukebox, ping pong table and pool table in the old auditorium.  Our living room was set up on the stage.  Good times, people, good times….

That’s a lot-I think I’ll stop there.  Next I’m supposed to pass on the award to more Kreativ blogs.  I’m fairly new to the WordPress family, but there are several that I enjoy and admire:

  • Paper and Salt-I love the way Nicole intertwines her love of Cooking and Literature.  Delicious! Delightful!
  • House of 34-No stranger to this sort of award, Laurie is a Design DIY maven with a wicked sense of humor.
  • SCCLiving-Kimberly writes about her Star Creek Country Texas homestead and all the bounty it provides in a most endearing way.
  • Made by Patch-Trish blogs about her love of crochet, sewing and the occasional delectable recipe. Her patchwork is a whimsical treat!

I hope you enjoy this group as much as I have! Have a wonderful weekend!

Crochet

Playing the Field..

I’ve been multi-tasking….burning both ends of the candle, if you will.  On the one hand, I am full steam ahead with my Tunisian Crochet class and the Multi Garment.

Simultaneously, I am “go” for my sewing “Do Over”.

It’s like dating two guys when you’re single.  You usually spend one date wishing you were on another.  Then you feel guilty when you’re on a date with a guy you really like, because  the other dude is more responsible and more stable.  Usually things fall apart with both of them at about the same time and you wind up with no date…but I digress…

Apparently the sewing “do over” is Mr. Stability.  The Tunisian multi-garment is the hotter Mr. Smooth. (This is a bizarre analogy, but let’s go with it.)

The stitch patterns are gorgeous.

Even though I’m using cotton instead of silk, the stitching still promises attractive drape. With the Tunisian, despite being in learning mode, everything is easier.

Sewing, not so much.  I’ve finished my first set of pillow covers.  I haven’t worked up the enthusiasm to photograph them yet.  They’re cute….that’s it.  Just cute.  I wanted spectacular…wow! But nope, they’re cute. Like I said, the craft equivalent to Mr. Stability.  I think I’ll wait and post them when I can add a few more for a grouping.

Until then, back to Mr. Smooth…