Friday, July 24, 2015

More apricots

Life doesn't exactly revolve around apricots, but I am getting plenty of exercise squatting to pick up apricots for an hour or two each day.  Today there's a banner crop sitting on the ground, thanks to the early morning thunderstorm and winds that went past.  Twenty gallons, perhaps?  I'm not sure if it's a pity that they're mealy, so we just toss them, or if it's nice that they're not exactly tasty so we don't fret about tossing them.  Regardless, apricots are on today's agenda once it dries out.  Then, showers and slushies.  Heat index is supposed to stay in the double digits. 

The garden grows, and grows.  I'm enjoying a daily dose of cherry tomatoes (Koralik) along with my kale smoothie, and we have some wee little watermelons that are developing nicely.  The peppers are peppering, the herbs are herbing, and the beans have so completely dwarfed, overrun, and conquered the trellis that I am unsure if I will be able to find either it OR any mature beans this year.  It's called 'learning stuff for next year.'  I made sage pesto, basil pesto, and destemmed a few tablespoons of dried thyme this past week.  There are 5 bunches of dried sage on the kitchen counter to destem today.  It's lovely having one's own herbs in the pantry.  Except for cilantro. I could do without that.  I dried some dill for mom, and if I don't pick the seed heads soon, will have thousands of dill plants next year. 

Construction work has stopped on the street for a while, as the pipes are now happily settled under the highway and work on the other half of town will commence.  Our turn comes afterwards.  They'll be removing all the pavement from street and sidewalk, putting in new water and new sewer (plus a new sewer line from our house out to the street).  And then, hopefully have enough time before winter to put in pavement for street and sidewalk, and plant grass.  If not, the adventure will just be a bit longer.  And we won't have a sidewalk to shovel! 

I've picked up the book Favorite Mittens and am knitting random mittens from that to destash my worsted and keep myself occupied. Some of my pattern-writing has moved forwards, and some hasn't.  Little by little does the trick? 

Tuesday, July 14, 2015


The main feature of my life right now is apricots.  Or at least, it seems that way.  Our Manchurian Bush Apricots, adult height of 4-6 ft, surpassed their genetics and have become two 20 ft tall behemoths with a 30+ ft spread and a bountiful crop of tiny, mealy, not-particularly flavorful apricots.  Thousands of them.  I estimate that I will be picking up 100 gallons of apricots over the next week or two.  Because if they're not picked up ... well, image spreading that much of applesauce on your lawn and waiting a day or two in the hot summer sun.  Bleagh.   Kale-apricot smoothies aren't too bad, though. 

We keep our collection container tightly lidded, and it STILL is a buggy, fermenting humid mush after just two days. Two days in the 90s with high ambient humidity, that is. 

The garden is getting a bit dry, and may well need some supplemental water in the next day or two.  I miss the daily/every other daily rainstorms in the wee hours.  Filius added a trellis for the watermelon, and I did some serious pruning of the sage as it was crowding everything around it.  The pruned bits turned into three bunches of sage hanging from our ceiling fans to dry, and a bottle of sage honey.  Mmmmm.  Sage tea is supposed to be good ... I'll probably thin out some more sage this weekend, and collect some thyme, and dehydrate some basil.  I'm looking forward to the tomates ripening! 

The tree chopping activity across the street has ceased.  Seven trees on the other side of the street and 5 trees on this side are no more.  Our view is seriously changed.  It'll be even more changed when the willow loses its leaves this fall and we can see across the street from our living room! 

Nothing is on my needles now.  I finished a second pair of slippers and am contemplating whether I should keep making more and perfect things, or find some other bunny trail to go haring off on.  In the meantime, I am working on making some patterns of mine publishable.  A little bit of polish here, a little bit of polish there, and then they'll be up on Ravelry!

Tuesday, July 07, 2015

The end of an era

Across the street from us for the past twenty years, there has been a row of majestic crimson maples.  Today, they are getting cut down, and we are sad.  I suppose if a new sewer/water main system is necessary, it's necessary ... but the view will take a long time to be the same, if ever it is the same.

Closer to home, our cherry tree is only 10 or so foot from the curb on another street.  It's not getting the axe this year, but I'm not so sure if it will be spared when the mains are replaced on that street.  Next spring, I will be planting a new cherry tree so that we aren't too many years without jams and pies!

Life continues on.  The knitting patterns I needed to write last week still need to be written this week.  There's no deadline, so it is just a matter of me determining to sit down and write them.  I'm knitting a cute pair of slippers (Noomi) out of stash yarn, and didn't make it through the first outer slipper before starting to mentally rewrite the pattern.  I have lots of ideas, and am beginning to wonder how many pairs I will knit before I settle on The Ideal Slipper.  One-piece, or sewn?  Twined, or not?  Garter, or stockinette?  Tossing felting into the mix will require a good bit of size change.  The originals call for slight felting, but they're too small in circumference to begin with, so I am not planning to follow that part of the directions.

Three students have signed up for a minicourse I am teaching on twined knitting.  I'm excited to see their swatches!