Monday, May 31, 2010

Mellow Yellow Monday

Hello, Mellow Yellow.  It's raining here - again!

Our rained-on parade last Saturday had lots of spirit if it was a little soggy.  Here are Freddy Fuddpucker and his Rolling Clones Band to brighten anyone's day.  Their instruments may look unusual but they play really good parade music.

For more yellow on a Monday morning - rainy or not - go visit Drowsy Monkey here

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Sunday wonders - J

J is for Jinxed.

The last Saturday in May is always time for our local Lynn Valley Day.  We have a big parade, events for the kids, live music, lots of volunteers and good old-fashioned fair food.  We also had rain.  Call it 'Scotch mist', 'soft rain' or a 'drizzle', we all got soaked through eventually.

The day before had some clear spots so we were hoping that our plugged-in musicians could keep us marchin' in time as they did last year.  But, when we were ready to start the engines, it was too wet for their instruments.  A pair of speakers covered in plastic, CDs and an empty truck were what we marched with.  Even the helium balloons sagged with the weight of water.

And, a pipe band in  raincoats is no' a pretty sight.  Even when they're as stylish as these are.

At the fairground, another kind of glitch got at the generator.  The musicians had to stop playing and all the bouncy castles collapsed into sad-looking heaps.  Wonder if there were any kids bouncing inside?  No one ever said.

Today it's dry and the sunshine just keeps getting brighter.  Ah well, there's always next year.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Columbines - Part 2

Ginny requested photos of all the colors.  Here they are:

the light pink again but in a different location...

a medium pink...

a darker pink...


kind of a brick-red...

This is Nora Barlow just opening.  There are no spurs like the others just these pink 'quills'.  She's not at her best these days and we'll have to help her out.  At first, we had her in the front yard and somehow she gradually moved to the back.  Not enough sun, I think.  I wonder how that complete change of location could happen?

And, just for fun, these columbines are blooming in my daughter-in law's garden.  We tried to grow them but I think the other resident plants sent out warning vibes and they never grew.  It's OK, though,  as they need a lot of space to be appreciated.  The flower is twice the size of ours. 

I don't know if there's rules about sending columbine seeds through the mail.  If not, and anyone wants them let me know.  My email address is on the profile. 

Wednesday, May 26, 2010


Just now, all the columbines are blooming in our garden.  We have masses of them in purple, dark, light and medium pinks, a brick-red and even a frilly one called Nora Barlowe. 

These prolific plants are what garden magazines call 'enthusiastic self-seeders' and every year we see them growing up in unexpected places.  I can't bring myself to pull any of them up. 

I think they are so beautiful with their complex curves and little lampshade bonnets.

It's only when the columbines bloom that our somewhat untamed flower garden becomes a true English cottage garden.

These pictured sprang up new this year:  a hybrid that seems to have developed all on its own.  In our garden in May, it's all about the columbines.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Ruby Tuesday

Silly toys just  make me smile.  Here's a smile for you for Ruby Tuesday.

These are the kind of action figures that I remember.  They fascinated me as a kid and I'm not sure why since they are really quite simple.

If you need more red in your life, visit Mary T here for more Ruby Tuesday photos.

Mellow Yellow Monday

A pair of Wilson's warblers has been visiting for the past week.  A very hard bird to snap as it never sits still.  We'd run with our camera and track the bird with the zoom lens and just get lovely shots of branches and leaves.

Until yesterday when Anne managed to get shots of the bird showing off front and back looks. 

Thanks to Drowsy Monkey for hosting Mellow Yellow.  See more here.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Sunday wonders - I

I is for Invention.

"Necessity is the mother of invention" was one of my mother's favorite sayings.  It was usually said with a crow of triumph and a pat on her own back.  I grew up with parents who were children of the Great Depression.  They knew how to save and stretch money.  Recycling was just the way everyone lived and very little was ever actually thrown away.  If we needed something, Mom or Dad might have a way of making a reasonable facsimile rather than buying it new.  Over the years, it became more a  challenge than a necessity, I think, because times and family finances did change.

But, the habit of re-purposing items still is part of my life.  I get the same charge out of 'inventing' that my mother did and the saying always runs through my head.  I could go out and buy the thing at the store but it's way more fun to make it myself. 

Here we had a hanging basket we were reluctant to get rid of.  The birds need a bath in the summer.  So, voila!  add an old ceramic pie plate, a few plants and you have a bird jacuzzi.  Oh, yeah, I forgot.  You do have to invest in some irrigation tubing for the 'fountain'.  It's our garden water feature...a great invention.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Time to learn

Some may have noticed that I haven't mentioned the Project Yarnway challenge for this month.  We're supposed to be learning a new knit/crochet skill AND then designing something that we would help another learner.

I decided that I would learn how to knit two socks at once using the Magic Loop.  That's the first step...this weekend I will start.  I have a kind of idea of what I want to make for a design project but that's for later.  To make this more urgent interesting,  I've agreed to give three workshops next winter on sock-making: basic, toe-up and Magic Loop.  I'd better get to it, hadn't I?  And, I promised Deb I'd teach her this summer.  That gives me lots of time to practice.

This is a surprise gift that my friend, Teresa , gave me last week.  She thought I needed something cheerful...I did and it is.     Isn't it wonderfully bright and spring-like yarn?   I'm seeing some stranded knitting in my future.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Back to normal

I think.  Anne's home.  All tests show that she is pretty healthy with the exception of the asthma which needs work.  And we have to lose weight. No problem...we have all these lovely veggies growing in the garden.

Last Sunday, we picked up our seedlings from Maria and planted out the ones that were ready.  Lots of tomatoes. 

Looking at the ones left to harden off, we realized that another garden box was needed.  We had originally thought about growing some in containers but why?  We have lawn left to dig up.  So that was my job last week and it rained.  I started but didn't get very far.  So today promises to be the start of a fine stretch and the rest of the seedlings will be planted snug in their beds. 

I also managed to get the runner bean poles up and ready for the first little leaves to poke through.  The seeds are in a bit late but this was our solution to dress up the bird feeder pole while we wait for the bears to hibernate.  I've planted more  lettuce around the outer edge. 

This week I've been eating lettuce, spinach and Swiss chard right from the garden.  Yum!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Birthday gifts

It's Anne's birthday today.

She's in hospital having tests done for the past couple of days and they don't allow flowers.

I'll take the laptop in with these peonies which always bloom on her birthday. 

And one of the baby chickadees getting around the plants to find their own food.  I think they're teenagers now.  It was awfully hard to capture them.  They skittered away when I got within 20 feet and it was raining as you can see.

Here's a whole bouquet...Happy Birthday!

Monday, May 17, 2010

House Guest

Last night, I turned on the desk lamp and surprised a visitor setting up its sleeping quarters for the night.

I watched, fascinated, as this long-legged beastie spun a web from my keyboard to some papers standing on my desk.  I don't think it's a spider and it's probably something that we don't want to keep in the house.  But I loved watching it. 

When it had spun a good-sized hammock, the movement just stopped for the night.  And, apparently, these creatures are not up with the sun.

It was still there this morning.  When it woke up, it stretched out the two longest legs and, using them to find its way, just ambled off  to find some breakfast.  

*Top photos taken with a flash last night;  bottom photo in daylight.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Sunday Wonders - H

H is for Hosta.

Back when we were trying to fill in the garden, we discovered hostas.  What wonderful plants they are.  They don't mind shade which we have; they also enjoy sun; they withstand the rain and best of all they spread out.

We were told that they have insignificant flowers.  Now this isn't true.  They are tall spires of many small purple or white blooms that tower over the leaves. They come out later in the summer and add interest to those shady parts of the garden.

We bought two plants at first and enjoyed them.  Then, the next  spring, we panicked because they were not emerging with the other perennials.  We bought more plants thinking the originals had been eaten by voracious slugs.

Well, they did finally come up and we are wiser now in the way of the hosta.

They have such various leaves.  I love the small and sometimes subtle differences in their leaf colors.

I like how their leaves are so strongly ribbed.

I like their constant variety.  This is our biggest hosta :  "Sum & Substance".  I had to have it just because of the name.  The tulip at back right is there for size reference - this hosta is our consistent favorite and we hold our breath  waiting  for its appearance each spring.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

A thousand eyes

Every time, I walk down the driveway, I feel as though there are many, many eyes watching me.

This is one of our biggest rhodies and has been busy with renewal since the big hemlock was cut down.  She has the sun all to herself now.

There were lots of bumblebees buzzing in the flowers but they kept hiding inside the blossoms.  Work, work, time for posing today.

I love how the spots look black but are really a dark, reddish-purple.  Isn't she beautiful?

Friday, May 14, 2010

A mystery

A few years ago, when we bought the house , the garden seemed to have a limitless space to fill.  We went to nursery sales and neighborhood garden sales.  As you know, we've even acquired plants at garage sales.

But this is our mystery plant.  I think we've had this plant for almost ten years and I still don't know what it is.

I've asked two master gardeners  and still no idea.  We bought it as a small twig with a few leaves and a sign that said "anemone bush - grows to 5 feet".  That was so funny at the time because it stayed a tiny little couple of branches for at least three years.

Then it started to grow.  And grow - it's over 5 feet now and it's been pruned often.  Then one year, it produced a bud.  One.  It was a white flower which disappeared in less than a week.  The next year we had more.  Now, we have lots.  This is a gorgeous bush when it flowers.  The scent of the blossoms is stronger than our lilacs and is very pretty. 

Anyone know what it is?

Thursday, May 13, 2010


The past few days have been a bit hectic.  You know, those times when you think that you can add nothing else to your schedule...then something happens?

The seniors have been busy and the center will be buzzing along for the next month or so.  When I became President of our seniors' association, the board decided that we would maximize our time and space available to provide the very best programming that we could.  Well!  That means a lot of meetings.  So, I've been meting and setting up and talking on the phone and emailing.  But I haven't been posting.

Then, over the weekend Anne's mystery illness kicked into high gear.  We spent 6 hours in the ER on Friday and thought it was resolved.  After increasingly lousy days, we trekked back to the ER yesterday.  Another day and still no definite answers.  It's a matter of ruling out everything it can't be.  Tests are ordered but it takes time to get in.  Meanwhile we get a good look at our health care system.  It gets a B+ this week.  The nurses are always A+, though.

So, I have been knitting.  Working on some cotton yarn that Maria gave me - she is so much better at downsizing her stash than I am - which she thought might make some sort of matching sweaters for the kids.

I used the rainbow yarn and the creamy yellow to make a rainbow sweater for Katie with purple boat buttons that come all the way from Nicaragua.  That's the 2. 

Size 4 is Charlie's sort-of-cricket vest.  I found some manly dark blue for the contrast as the rainbow just didn't work.

And the 6 is Becky's summery cropped cardi with a lacy rainbow yoke.

Now, I'm back to socks as  potential waiting room knitting - just in case.  

Monday, May 10, 2010


 This morning's garden chatter:

Hmmm...looks like they've taken the shiny stuff off the snack pole. 

Where is it?

No, really...where is it?

No snacks?  I'm outta here.

Maybe we're solving the problem of the squirrels raiding the feeders, too.


Blog Widget by LinkWithin