Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Day 106–Madam Are You Looking At Me?

Day 106 - Squirrel! What Squirrel!

Squirrels, an endless source of amusement and photographs. It is as if they are posing just for me.

He just hung there, feet poised on the feeder pole, hand on the feeder, looking soulfully into my eyes to see if I was going to do anything.

And then he executed a perfect pole dancer upside down slide down the pole. Of course it might have been a she for all I know. I didn’t lift up it’s little squirrely skirt to check.

People have been arrested for those sorts of things.

Monday, April 29, 2013

It Smells Like Worms Out There

Oh certain Spring days, when the temperature is warm and the air is full of rain.

It smells like worms outside.

You didn’t know that it could smell like worms?

Well it can. At least according to my friend Nancy it can.

Ah Nancy. She lived just down the street from me 6th grade through freshman year in college. We would walk to school together….until we learned to drive that is. I would walk the two blocks to her house and arrive to find her in the same state every day….


Guzzling her glass of WHOLE milk and eating two, not one but TWO, Double Fudge Frosted Pop Tarts.

Two of them. Every day. I don’t like those kinds of pop tarts but I was still envious. Perhaps it was just the whole milk.

But I digress.

Once Nancy had eaten her pop tarts, drunk her milk and disposed of the inevitable milk moustache we walked to school. An uneventful half mile to Edison Jr. Hi or mile to the high school. All would be fine and dandy. We would talk boys and stuff (I have no idea really what we talked about).

All would be fine and dandy except on the days when it had rained. And then……

There would be worms.

Now I don’t have a great aversion to worms. I like them actually because they are helpful in the garden and they make the soil happy and you can snap them in two to make two worms and they make a lovely squishy sound when you step on the really big ones and……


Never mind about that.

I didn’t mind worms on rainy days but Nancy did. And when there were a ton of worms on the side walk then the trip to school was more like tip toeing through the dog poop, I mean the tulips. Nan didn’t want to step on any of them (I had no such qualms) nor did she like the “worm smell” that seemed to flow, like the 10th plague of Egypt, along the ground as we walked to school.

That half a mile became as difficult to traverse as the Khumbu Icefall going up Mt. Everest. I could see the final destination but I never thought I would get there because we had to walk past,around,over,beside all the worms along the way, all the time holding our breathe against the dreaded worm smell.

It smells like worms today.

And I must go out into it.

Help me.

Day 105–Pinwheels of Beauty

Day 105-Pinwheels of beauty

Still completely fascinated with the fiddleheads from my Ostrich fern. They stay at this stage for such a short time before they unfurl into huge fronds. And every year each plant puts up more fronds.

Amazingly beautiful.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Day 104–Multitasking

Day 104 - Multitasking

When I sit, I knit. There is no other explanation. I have never had the ability to sit down and do nothing at all. I have always been that way. If I am reading I often times am knitting as well. If I am watching Netflix, I am definitely knitting. If I am sitting in front of the computer on a Saturday morning trying to catch up on a boat load of blogs that I haven’t had the time to sit and read, I am knitting.

This morning, as I was watching the ever amazing Neil Gaiman on YouTube, I was knitting and I just knew that would be the picture of the day. The autopilot knitting of squares for the Hamlin Fistula Hospital blankets is perfect for this. My hands can knit but my brain can be doing something else at the same time.

Perhaps the perfect explanation of multitasking.

And oh how I love my new and improved 50mm f1.4 lens.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Day 103–Cream Bottles in Monochrome

Day 103-Cream bottles in monochrome

Silly, I know, but I have a love affair with black and white photos. And it is sort of fun just to put Big Bertha on “Monochrome” and see what happens. Thank goodness you didn’t see me putting myself into contortions to get jut the correct angle, all the while trying to make sure that my camera strap didn’t drag in the dirty dishes that were in the sink at that moment.

And I am not going to tell you how long it took me to Photoshop out the dirt that is on my as yet to be Spring washed kitchen windows.

I hate washing windows.

But I love Black and White photos.

7 Quick Takes (Vol 211) The Back Garden In Spring Update


We have had every type of weather this week here in Chez Knit. Rain on Monday, loads of it. Sun and warmer weather on Tuesday. SNOW on Wednesday. Weather psychosis rules here in the Frozen Northeast Ohio. It is still April after all. And because I am still in the really basic learning phase for the new camera we are just going to take a stroll around the back garden this week.

You know the set in stone rules for Friday. After you have dug up my blather and transplanted it in the garden of your life you need to click on the picture above to be whisked, at the speed of my ever expanding garden chores list, over to Conversion Diary.

Dig that blather up!

It wouldn't be Spring without pansiesMorning Pansy Dew 2Morning Pansy Dew 3Morning Pansy Dew 4

Can I tell you that it is not actually Spring until I plant some pansies. I. Love. Pansies. They are happy and hardy and have a light “pansy-like” smell that just throws me right back to my childhood when I would go to this person’s house…..

Glenn Lauren Pringle

Gramps and Gramma always had pansies planted along the driveway in the spring. And they would let me pick one or two to take home with me.

And from GLP and LHP I learned the fact that it is sometimes necessary to pinch back in order to get better blooms. Plant your pansies and pinch off ALL the blossoms. They will rebloom, don’t worry, and they will be happier for it.

Dude get away from my woman!

I am calling this photo….

DUDE! Get away from my woman!

There is mating territory being staked out in front of my office window every day. After successfully running off the interloper at the bottom of the picture Mr. Schwarzecardinal then proceeded to do his “Hey Baby Pick Me” dance for the female.

She didn’t seem all that interested if you ask me.

Monster Moss

You know, a landscaper friend told me once that someone had paid him big money to actually add moss to a newly constructed sandstone wall so that the wall would look old.

All I can say to that is……


Moss, and also Corsican mint, are the bane of my Springtime existence. I spend a great deal of time scrapping the doggone stuff off my walkways. If I am not vigilant the stuff will take over the paths and then start on the beds. The moss is bad enough but the Corsican mint!!!

Oh my stars and garters that stuff is a pain in my ever expanding bahookie. And I have no one to blame but myself. I thought it might be an interesting “effect” to plant it in between the sandstone steps in one portion of my landscaping. That was in the front of the house. How the HECK it got to the back garden I do not know. But ever since I have been fighting a war of attrition with that stuff.

Clematis in monochrome

I have been playing with the “Monochrome” setting on Big Bertha. The clematis wanted to be all dark and mysterious for once. I obliged.

And we know how much I love my clematis. I will do anything she asks.

Well anything EXCEPT touch any of the leaves or stems first thing in the morning. All the dew and moisture of any kind has to be off the plants before I do anything with it. Working with clematis when the vines are wet is a VERY good way to spread Clematis Wilt.

And I don’t want to have to go through THAT again.

The bane of my weeding existence

I don’t know the name of these little weeds but I do know that they are the bane of my weeding existence. They spring up with great abandon in the spring and if you don’t pull them out ASAP they quickly set seed pods.

And then you are screwed.

See the little brown stick like things hanging around the flower? Those are almost ready seed pods. When they ARE ready, if you brush against the plant, heck if there is even a moderate breeze blowing for that matter, it triggers the pods to fling their seeds out into the atmosphere.

And I do mean fling.

I hate them.


So bright and beautifulOh how I love the Gold Finches. They tweet so happily at the feeder. They fill up all the spots on the feeder so none of the other birds can feed.

They dive bomb me when I come out to fill up the feeder.

Such happy little bullies.

Ostrich Fern 1Ostrich Fern 2Ostrich Fern 3Ostrich Fern 4

And last but certainly not least….

My growing Ostrich Fern collection.

When I first set up the back garden there was an area that I knew would get very little sun. It is a narrow bed right along the garage wall. It just screamed for hosta of course but when I was wandering around my local plant nursery thinking about perennials I stopped abruptly at a good sized pot of Ostrich fern. Hmmm, that looks interesting.

So I bought a couple and planted them where I wanted them…..

And the next year I had, not two ostrich fern plants but FIVE! And that is when I learned the thing about OF’s that I didn’t know.

They like to make Ostrich fern babies. Lots and lots of babies that they send out on a runner under the ground. And they are no respecter of other plantings. Every spring I have new babies that come up in the middle of the hosta, under the bench, everywhere that they can. Thank goodness they are fairly easy to transplant, which I have begun to do.

Just another one of those plants that you really should know about BEFORE you plant them.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Semi-Wordless Wednesday

1968 SPRING  Indianapolis #8

I am not sure that there is anything that can adequately explain this particular picture. Brenda and I were obviously early proponents of some sort of facial enhancement therapy.

One does really wonder what the heck we have painted on our faces and why I felt the urge to add what appears to be a pencil thin moustache.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Day 102–Lacy Leaf Beauty

Day 102 - Lacey Leaf Beauty

I will admit that I almost missed the leaf.

I was weeding. And when I am weeding I am focused. The weeds must go. The last remaining leaves from Fall, the ones that hide in the beds must go.

I reached my hand down to grab a handful of detritus and….

There is was.

And you know, in order to get this picture I had to lay down full length on the garden path and wait for just the right moment. The wind had to stop blowing and the leaf had to be just stationary with the sun shining through it.


But it took about 10 minutes of laying on the ground for the conditions to be right. Darn wind.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Day 101–I Would Like To Wring Spring’s Neck

Day 101-I Would Like to Wring Spring's Neck1

I am going to fess up that I didn’t take this picture today. It was actually taken on Saturday morning when I came downstairs to find a little skiff of snow on the deck.

And then when HHBL and I were out doing errands in the morning…..there was a blizzard like white out for a time.



Come on Mother Nature be nice! I know it is the Frozen Northeast Ohio but give me a break…in the weather.

When In Doubt…Improvise!

I have never been what you would call a traditionalist when it comes to garden landscaping

After all….


I use bedpans for planters….and there might be a toilet planter too.

A garden dilemma had arisen this Spring. A problem. An issue.


My garden does not look like this at the moment, obviously. This was taken in June of last year. See the trellis at the back of the picture. The one that the clematis happily climbs up each year?

It met a sad and unhappy end this past winter. The posts had not been seated in the concrete tubes correctly by the landscaper when it was installed many years ago. Posts that we were ASSURED would stand the test of time.

Don’t get me going on THAT particular landscaper.

The posts were rotten right through. And the first good wind over the winter sent them toppling down. And I have no wish to spend a boat load of moola to have them replaced.



Voila! My stick trellis tower.


And practical!

And in about 6 weeks it will be covered with clematis.

It was a bit chilly yesterday afternoon but totally sunny and I was feeling inspired. So….

2013-04-21 15.51.542013-04-21 15.52.29

I got out my drill. I tromped around in the woods till I found enough dead branches that were about the right circumference. I dragged them onto the driveway. I sawed them to length. I drilled holes and screwed in screws and I set it up. Not a tape measure in sight.


Sure maybe, just maybe the screws are sometimes….a bit on the not quite screwed in side even though I drilled pilot holes for everything.

And it might be a bit wobbly. That is why it is propped up on all sides with nice heave pieces of sand stone that I just happen to have laying around.


Really Alpha! Do you think this is your best work? What would Norm Abrahms say to this?


I think Norm Abrams would say,

GOOD JOB Deb! Way to go with your use of power tools and wood screws.

There was really no time to lose though. The clematis are already up and reaching for something to hang onto.

I like it! My Leaning Tower of Clematis. Come June it is going to look AWESOME.

You just wait and see.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Day 100–Oh Rhubarb How I Love Thee

Day 100 - Rhubarb How I Love Thee

Hurrah!! Hurrah!! The Rhubarb has survived the winter and is happy. A year ago, while LL and I were discussing what we wanted to do in the garden it was floated that perhaps we could dedicate a square of earth to Rhubarb.

And because we are frugal people and didn’t want to actually PAY for plants that we could get for free…..

I had Mimi dig up some starts from her VAST rhubarb patch. No, really, it is vast. She dug, I transported, LL and I planted and watered and babied and watched. I will say that for a time the plants didn’t look too happy. They missed their patch mates. They cried for their plant parents.

There was some concern.

And impatient waiting for the winter to pass.

But there they are……

Rhubarb Coffee Cake here I come!!!

Friday, April 19, 2013

7 Quick Takes (Vol 210)


Excuse me! Who said that April could almost be over. I have too many things still to accomplish in this month for it to be almost over.


You know the rules. When you are done digging up the blather weeds in my garden of life you need to click on the picture above to be whisked, at the speed of the vacillations in weather this week here at Chez Knit (83F yesterday…..43F today), over to Camp Patton whose is hosting this week.

April showers bring a boat load of blather.

Can I just say that this week I have been glad that we no longer have cable. With all the breaking news that just keeps coming and coming I would have that darn TV on all the time.

And I wouldn’t get anything done.

Well, maybe some knitting as I cannot stand to just sit and watch the TV without also having my hands employed doing something constructive.

Not that watching endless episodes of “Survivor Man” isn’t productive.

Moving on.

I restarted my massive photo scanning project this week. It isn’t really that I had stopped doing it but I just took about a 6 week break. But now I am back in the scanning mode. Currently I am scanning a boat load of very old pictures that came from my cousin Dorothy.

I will tell you about Dorothy another time perhaps but the scanning of her VERY old photos has been a great deal of fun.

Dorothy 4

I don’t quite remember when Dorothy was born but I am guessing that it was around 1912. Mimi would know.

LaurenLeap and I have been working in the garden, which shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone who has been hanging around here. The spinach, radishes and lettuce are just staring to come up. We looked hard at the ground to see if the peas had made an appearance yet. They hadn’t.

And we spent two hours yesterday weeding.

Not that I am competitive or anything but…..our garden looks AWESOME.

My 53 year old body feels the weeding this morning. I would have felt much better today if I had been able to soak the old bones in some Epsom Salts…..but I am out.

Does anyone know where my Epsom Salts went to?

And LaurenLeap thought it would be funny to be spy paparazzi yesterday with her iPhone.

Deb in the garden

Hardee har har har.

I was actually taking a picture of the rhubarb, not the stick that looks like it is in front of me.

But that doesn’t mean that I haven’t been known to take a picture of a stick if it catches my attention.

I am getting a new computer chair this weekend!!!

It is the little things that keep us happy don’t you know.

I have been limping along with Cartoon Girl’s old art chair since I foiled the Computer Chair World Domination plot. The art chair had been functioning as my sewing chair with fair success. But as a computer chair it does a lousy job. It is too high and cannot be put any lower. The seat is too narrow for long sitting in it with my ever expanding bahookee. And I cannot even claim that there is any lumbar support.

So a new chair is in order.


The garter stitch square knitting for the Hamlin Fistula Hospital blankets continues. I thought when I added this to my already full project bag that it might be boring. But darn it I actually like mindlessly knitting away on those mitered squares. Totally autopilot knitting, I don’t even have to look at what I am doing.

The basic pattern for the hospital just has you doing 10x10 inch squares in garter stitch. Now THAT would be boring. And because I cannot leave knitting patterns alone I decided to do mitered squares. But that took a bit of fiddling and I actually had to do MATH.

Shivers in horror.

But now I am whizzing along.

The other thing about this project is the fact that I am using Acrylic yarn. I NEVER thought I would use acrylic yarn again. We all start out using acrylic when we first begin knitting. It is a very forgiving thing and cheap and new knitters don’t know any better.

They don’t know that……

Acrylic is really just a gate way drug for Alpaca…

And Super Wash Merino….

And silk…..

And Qiviut!!!!! I don’t actually OWN any Qiviut as it usually runs around $100/ Very. Small. SKEIN. But I will some day! I don’t have any idea what I will make with it but I will own some.

I actually now LOOK for Acrylic yarn when I am at the thrift store. And my knit sibs gladly give me their old stash.


The Hummingbird feeders are out. I haven’t seen any hummers at the feeder yet although I thought I saw one flitting around earlier in the week. It is right around this time that they start showing up.

I need my Hummingbird fix!!


Of course I can do without the crazy bees.

But I think I took care of THAT problem with shock and awe!

In approximately three weeks we will no longer have ANY progeny in college.

How did that happen? How is it possible that they have gone from this……
Top-298 (rev 0)

To this……

In so short a time!!! I swear it was just yesterday. Where is my machine to turn back time?

On second thought if I turned back time then that would mean we would have to live through their puberty years again.

Those years are  just a remind why Gerbils eat their young.

Never mind.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Day 99-That’s a PLANTER Not a Bed Pan!

Day 99 - That's a PLANTER Not a Bed Pan

I am SURE that I read somewhere that only the bestest and most sophisticated gardeners have bed pans for planters.

If that is not so don’t harsh my mellow by telling me any different.

No one ever said that I was “normal” in my planter choices.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Semi-Wordless Wednesday

Jr Hi Akward

Oh a GEM from the archives. I am actually the adorably awkward flutist on the far right. Don’t I look SOOOOOOO happy to be wearing white bell bottom pants and a scratchy wool V-neck sweater with nary a tee shirt underneath.

I am not sure exactly why this photo was taken although I think it was after some sort of Fall band concert. Somewhere in the back of my feeble brain is the thought that I participated in some sort of Flute Ensemble and that we played something that I really never bothered to practice very well.

Or is that just the dream that I had last night?

Never mind.

Can anyone remind me who the other people are in the photo?

I have done a bit of preliminary work on the photo but it still needs some MAJOR help. Just like the flute that I am clutching.

Does anyone need a slightly….ummmmm……


Gemeinhart flute.

It isn’t bent all THAT much. There is just sort of a crease in the flute.

I DIDN’T bend it….that might have happened when TMO was using the flute.

A flute does not do well when it is used as a club on your sister.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Day 98–The Poopie Song

Day 98 - The Poopie Song

We had a group of friends over on Saturday night for dinner and to bid goodbye to Lauren and Lizzie who are moving to Minnesota.

One of the couples brought their absolutely delightful daughter, Jess.

Our after dinner entertainment was Jess’s original composition…..

The Poopie Song.


Day 97–Goose Girl

Day 97 - Goose Girl

Goose Girl was a gift from my mother-in-law, Abuela. She resides in the back garden, Goose Girl NOT Abuela.

I love her.

Day 96–These Aren’t The Seeds You’re Looking For

Day 96 - These Aren't The Seeds You're Looking For

Another in my growing portfolio of squirrel portraits. I actually thought about calling this “Caught in the Act”.

But I didn’t.

He didn’t stay long, especially after he realized I was going all paparazzi on him.

And no, I am not going to tell you how I know he was a “he”. Just know that it was obvious.

PS: I am WAY behind on posting my 365 photos. Be prepared as I am about to inundate you with them. Please don’t leave my needy self.

Pimento Cheese–You Know You Need It

I had a breezy Monday kind of post for yesterday….but it just didn’t seem to be the time to post it after all the news coming out of Boston. I will save it for later.

And today it is warm and rainy and I felt the need for something comforting for lunch.

Pimento Cheese sandwich!!! I am not sure why that popped up in my head but once it was there then I had to act on it. And I took a couple of pictures.

But I have to warn you beforehand that they aren’t my best work….I was hurrying…I was hungry. It happens.

My love of Pimento Cheese has been life long. The Mimi used to make sandwiches with pimento cheese spread that came in these little glass jars. Once you were done with the cheese spread the glass jars could be used as little glasses. I still have a bunch of them and use them every day.

But I digress.

Then there was the Pimento Cheese sandwiches that we could get from the cafeteria at Baylor Univ Hospital when I was in nursing school.

The angels sang when I bit into one. It had NOTHING to do with the fact that Baylor is the largest Southern Baptist university in the world.

But Mimi isn’t here at the moment and I am a LONG way from BUNS! so I had to make my own.

I am so sorry but……


I don’t have any measurements for you.

Hmmmm, I think that is LaurenLeap yelling at me from 300 feet down the road. Don’t worry, I will get around to it eventually. But for the rest of you I will just tell you what I do. You can take it from there.

Pimento Chz 5

How hard can a recipe be that has so few ingredients? Don’t answer that! I forgot to put the bottle of Worcestershire sauce in the pictures. Oops.

Pimento Chz 4

Grated cheddar cheese goes into my awesome purple bowl made by my sister in law (the NYC one). I like small pieces of cheese and this was a small batch so I just took my kitchen shears and cut it up a bit more.

Pimento Chz 3

Add chopped up roasted red peppers, the ones that I canned last fall. You chop up however many pieces that you want and dump them in with the cheese.

Oh the color!!

Pimento Chz 2

Put in a dollop of mayo.

Um Deb, that looks like more than a dollop of mayo..

You would be right. I was mayo happy and so I ended up having to grate a bit more cheese to fix the mayo/cheese ratio. Then I added a few drops of Worcestershire sauce, not too much! Then applied a thorough mix.

Pimento Chz 1

I’m thowee, I wath hungwee and I couldenth wait.