Sun, not rain…

I woke up to sunny skies this morning instead of rain! That’s ok, I’ll take it. I am still planting!

I’m enjoying these sunflowers (?) in the back yard.


When you put off mowing you get to see lots of wildflowers. I have had more butterflies in the back yard this year than I can remember.

Whatever these lovelies are, they are very tall…


I was resigned to let the ducks go yesterday. But after a better night’s sleep, things don’t look so grim. They seem very content today. I also noticed yesterday there was an owl hooting nearby again. I’m pretty sure that rattles them and makes them more clingy.

One of the good things about having ducks is using their dirtied water for the garden. I think it’s largely responsible for the extraordinary health of these potato plants…


Already blooming!

Today is a much easier day and nearly all of my travel preparations are in place. There are still things to do, but not so much as the past couple of days. Today is mostly getting a few more things planted and tidying the house a bit. It’s gorgeous out. I do believe there is rain in the forecast still, but I’m enjoying this while I can.

Back in 10 days or so.

A bientot!



The weather is…


The next four days are supposed to be…


A couple days ago it was super…


When it’s done being cold and rainy, I bet it will be…


In fact, the past two months have been…



Of course, I won’t be here for a week of it, as I head out Friday. I’m actually looking forward to leaving this week behind. My back is really hurting today from all my exertions in the yard the past couple days, and I’m still not done. The duck house has new bedding, sweet potatoes have been planted, more onions were planted, duck water has been changed about a million times, protective barriers have been built around my trellises to guard against both cats and ducks. Frankly, I’m exhausted.

The hardest part is the fact that all the animals have been working against me in one way or another. I’m furious with Chicky (constantly spraying EVERYWHERE) and only mildly annoyed with the others. I had decided this morning to give away the ducks as they are just so much work. I haven’t been able to keep them quiet or clear of all gardening areas and it has begun to seem like too much when so much is going wrong. H has sort of talked me out of it, but I have to admit I’m feeling more than a bit foolish at the moment, having underestimated the work required to take care of even this much.

It is all compacted by the fact I have been sleeping poorly for so long I can’t even remember the last time I slept well.

On a brighter note, I posted a picture of the giant peacock doily on facebook yesterday and have gotten a lot of positive response and kind comments. It really is such a beautiful pattern.

Well, I’m off to go plant some more things, but first I’m making some comfort food. Feeling pretty bummed…

I hope you’re having a better day.





I’m in love…

with the giant Peacock doily. Here it is last night when I hung it up…



And in the morning light…



I think it’s the most beautiful pattern of any I’ve made so far. Just gorgeous. I might make another for the left. That’s usually where I hang them.

The mail carrier was just by…she loves it, too!

I spent a while working on it yesterday even though I had loads of stuff to do outside. I did it because I wanted to. I really wanted a new doily for the front. Even though I didn’t really have time for it, I did it because it made me happy.

It can also be challenging to stop and start a crochet project, although I do it all the time. Any more, though, I really try to push through and get it done. It’s so easy to lose your place in both your project and the pattern. Much better to keep chugging along until it’s done.

I have carved out a huge chunk of work for myself with the garden, cats and ducks. It always amazes me how hard it is to get a garden in, this year especially since I am doing more. And adding the ducks has pushed my daily chores to a new level.

I can’t help but feel it is especially difficult when you live in town. Even in a small town like this where it’s ok for your dog to bark it’s head off…fireworks can be shot in town for days around the 4th of July…you can operate a mechanic’s garage out of your house despite your neighbor’s complaints…and you can drive big trucks with glass packs (=horrendous noise), golf carts and even tanks down the street and that’s all ok. None of the neighbors have said anything about the noise the ducks make…really it’s Turtle who is the loud mouth. But I can already tell they are making a big deal about it with the suggestive looks. Not to mention, my weirdo neighbor to the north was actually peeping through the fence yesterday. He took off when my cat noticed him and I noticed her reaction and then saw him skulking off. Some days I really loathe the behavior of the people I’m surrounded by.

Ok, so that’s my rant for the day. I’m trying to get nearly everything done today so I can breeze through the next two as I leave town for a week on Friday.





New new life…

Here are the two newest additions to our household…

twonewcropAs you might be able to tell, I’m being hissed at quite seriously here…


My yellow girl, Noodle, had two (surviving) very dark babies. Her first didn’t make it. She is turning out to be a better mom than I had expected, aside from the mishap with her first. Chances were 50/50 she’d end up like one of her mothers, the one who left all 11 kittens to be nursed by her sister, poor thing. But so far these two have been nicely plumped up, cared for and cleaned.

As for Olive, her kittens are the calmest, happiest, FATTEST babies I’ve ever seen…


Sweet Olive kept Noodle company throughout her delivery Saturday, so spent extra time nursing her own. You can see by the size of their bellies this worked out very well for the kitties.

They are going to be so much fun. Unfortunately, I will miss a whole week of them since I am headed to LA Friday for a workshop. *sniff*

Work on the giant doily is nearing completion…


Gorgeous, eh? The colors look so nice in the sun. I wanted to get a pic so I can mark it up and see how I want to finish it. I’d like to add more color with the finishing touches, provided I have enough pink and purple left over.

I started a new walnut dye pot this weekend and muted some floss…


I’ll work on getting the rest of it carded, asap. In the meantime, I have a ton of gardening to do before I leave…and a long to-do list to write up for H.

I am hoping to come home to most of my plants alive and thriving, as well as ducks and cats well cared for. I have to admit, H is not thrilled to be wearing my hat for a whole week, on top of work. But, his mom loves ducks, lives only 2 blocks away and will hopefully help with the duck sitting. Today they are doing really well being outside on their own. It is such a relief, as I have a lot to do inside, as well.

I hope the beginning of your week has been lovely…







Another repeat day…

It’s cold and rainy…again…

Lucky for me the ducks are doing better with their separation anxiety, so I have managed to be inside most of the day without too much noise from them.

I made rissoles for the second time today. Here is the first batch…


They are pretty good. H and I nearly demolished that entire plate above in one sitting. We were eating and H’s comments were kind of like this…mmmmm….these are good….what did you call these? cannoles?…(me) rissoles, from The Kitchen’s Garden blog…mmmmmm….I really like them….mmmm….I could eat that whole plate….mmmmmm….what did you call them? pirogies?…No, rissoles!

Looking at the recipe again I realize I forgot to roll them in flour today. They still turned out just fine, although a little goopy. The potatoes were really glutinous for some reason, perhaps because they are late season and sprouting.

Anyway, I needed something different to eat as I’ve been on a pretty basic diet for a couple weeks now, I think. My diet basically consists of vegetables cooked or raw, a bit of fruit, rice, potatoes, oatmeal for breakfast and meat one time or less per day. Pretty skimpy, but I am losing weight and feeling better.

Yesterday I cheated. It was shopping day and I was SO hungry. I decided to stop at Arby’s and had a turkey sandwich and curly fries. The sandwich isn’t such a bad choice, but on the way home I felt this feeling come over me and I realized that was the way I used to feel every day…just a basic kind of bad all over. It made me realize how much better I feel on my new but very basic diet. I have also had to cut out nuts completely, which is a bummer, because they were making some things worse. It took cutting them out of my diet to realize it.

I’m also cheating with a bit of 70% dark chocolate, but I figure that’s my reward for doing the shopping yesterday, which I had been dreading.

The giant doily I began is on hold while I work up the determination to rip out the last bit I worked, which is a major bit, and I don’t want to do it. But, if I don’t do it the doily will be really lop-sided because the new yarn is worsted, but a smaller weight and won’t match the existing yarn. Ugh.

Instead, I started a new project…of course…

pink start


I want to add a third element and am thinking about this…


My feet are cold because, as I mentioned, it’s cold and raining…again. I’m going to go put some socks on and then I’m going to sit down and stitch for as long as my life (meaning the cats and the ducks and H) will let me!

Enjoy your weekend.





The wind blew my head off…

That’s how it’s felt lately. Too windy for my taste.

This is the first day I have been able to be inside for any amount of time without the ducks (i.e. Turtle) going berserk. Perhaps the wind has calmed them, as well.

Yesterday was more like this…


Not just beneath my chair, but ON my foot. Turtle was completely on my foot for a while, and Yoyo was on my shoe. They stuck to me like glue yesterday, even when I went inside for a moment


I wasn’t sure what was up with them. They weren’t getting in their pool at all. Granted, the water was the color of chocolate milk, but that’s never stopped them before…or so I thought. When I began to empty it out, the smell hit me. Yikes, it was bad. As soon as I started filling it up with fresh water they were in there…and loving the spray nozzle…


Now that they are fully feathered out bath time is different. They really fluff up their feathers so that they look like pinecones. I think it’s to let the water reach their skin…


I had a new arrival in the garden…

butterfly crop

Sooooo beautiful. I had to take the pic fast because Noodle was chasing this one. She whined when I kept nudging her with my foot so she’d miss it.

I am so tired today…again. Allergies? Could be, also interrupted sleep. H wants to go grocery shopping, but I am dreading it. I would rather stay here and stitch. I’d rather stitch and starve. Not really, but I can make do. Shopping means a trip away, a long drive, and gone for a couple hours. Ugh.

I did get out for some errands today. I found this book at the thrift store…


It has some really nice color photos. I thought maybe it would inspire some drawing, or at least help me when/if I draw birds. Or I may just read it.

I also got this old lace tablecloth for $1…


It’s really beautiful and has a nice feel to it. It was much loved, as the stains, holes and worn places suggest. I want to use it for dyeing experiments. It will be hard for me to cut it up, even though I tell myself it has been used.

No stitching to share today, although progress has continued on the giant doily. I did end up buying another skein of yarn, which I know is the wrong size. I don’t think you will be able to tell from afar, so hopefully it will work ok.

I just noticed it’s only Wednesday. *sigh*






New old pursuits…

The days lately are turning out to be like most days…duck watching, gardening, cat wrangling, and a bit of stitching here and there…



Pillow progress has been put on hold for a bit as I started another giant doily for the front porch. Here’s the pattern:


I am hoping I will have enough yarn to finish, although I am betting I don’t and will have to order another skein. This is always a dilemma as most of the time I am endeavoring to use up the yarn I already have rather than buying more. I will have to give it some thought as I get closer to the end. Most of the doily is purple, but I may finish up with pink. We’ll see.

It’s not rainy today, which is nice. I was out earlier and the sun felt great. I am headed out again soon so the ducks can roam under my watchful eye. They seem especially nervous in the mornings which does make sense because all the cats are particularly interested in them in the morning. Once kitty nap time hits mid afternoon things seem to calm down a touch.

Check out these bookends…on the duck pen, of course…


I worked for hours yesterday in the garden getting things planted. It wasn’t so bad, just takes a lot of work followed by putting duck and cat protection over everything. That part is frustrating…but the lettuces are happy…