12:07/25

The instant (not to mention hot, and so very, very dry) summer-like weather has me thrown completely off kilter. At least, that’s what I’m blaming for now.

I started back at my summer job at the end of April, and that groove has been a hard time coming. Spring was cold and late, the rabbits ate all my backyard, and half of the front yard looks terrible. I miss the folks at the “old folks home” and I’m having a hard time with the new schedule of the evening shift at work. I had some difficult customers at work, and I’m just not feeling the retail part of it anymore.

Ok? (It sounds worse than it is. I’m such a whiner.)

But last Monday, when the Starlite apple-crab was in full bloom, we had a birthday party for my oldest, my now 21 year old. It was a very low-key, very nice barbecue later in the day, and the guests (all family) behaved themselves for once, and the evening was short and sweet.

We’ll have to do it again in June, when the youngest turns 18. Right before her graduation. Wayyyyy too much happening in the next month, but so much good stuff, too.

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unplanned absence and return

I had to answer a question from the past yesterday, and realized that I had the best answer available on the blog. And hello again.

The unplanned absence was a direct result of “just not feelin’ it” and the resulting posts from most of 2017 sure showed it. I think I’m back…I hope I’m back. The blog was a happy, interesting place, and in reading between and through the lines (as only I can) has brought back memories of stories not shared, as well. Good times that will still remain unpublished!

The last eight months were busy at a new job, one that I have put on hold temporarily as I make a short return to the garden centre for the summer. I’m happy to be wearing my Aussie-made shade hat for the summer, in exchange for the hair net that I sported all winter; but I’ll be happy to make the trade back again in August.

I got hired on at an independent-living senior facility back in October, as morning staff to prepare and serve brunch. It was a job that I looked forward to every morning, and winter just flew by. A huge bonus was that I got to walk to work every morning, and walk home almost every afternoon as well. The weather was mostly wildly cold for the entire winter, and I learned not to wear mascara on the way to work, as my eyelashes would frost over and the mascara would be smeared all over my face at the end of the half-hour trek! By the time April rolled around, I was taking my bike to work and zipping over the frozen puddles. My cross-country ski mitts were the warmest and most wind-proof accessory for the 10 minute ride. It so was lovely working so close to home!

It was a great job that also gave me ample knitting time in the afternoons, and two sweaters got completely finished over the winter. One for Elena, one for the head chef’s new baby, and another three that are for me, and not quite finished yet!

There was sad, too, which can keep for later; and everything else in between.

And that’s it, that’s all for now, folks!

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so you stole my watermelon

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…and then came back for the pumpkins. When you found they were already harvested (by me) you decided to take a knife, cut off a perfectly emerald green pumpkin (one of the only two left) and leave it where I was sure to see it. Right at the entrance to my garden.

Fun.

The buttercup squash all came home. Like, right then and there. Unfortunately, the butternut is not ready yet, so all I can hope is that they took out the frustration on the pumpkin, and will leave the squash alone.

I can’t stop gardening. Fresh beans? Huge, homegrown cabbage that cost me pennies? Juicy garden tomatoes? All the stuff that I love anticipating for harvest. So, even though that last passive/aggressive retaliatory action really did feel like a slap to the face, it’s still my garden and I’m going to keep doing it.

The rest of my day will be spent enjoying my other hobby. I’m off to a wool/fibre festival to learn about sheep fleece and do some shopping. Bizarrely enough, I have a love/hate relationship with these sort of gatherings, because while I love the farming and sheep aspect, and the end product, the concept of “artisan” encapsulates issues and an attitude that I’m not altogether comfortable with. I just want to knit. And spin. And learn, and love what I make.

Which is why I think I have to start being more accepting of the artisans, and the obsessive knitters. They love what they do…they just take it to another level. Can’t exactly attend wearing a t-shirt that says, “Moderation is the key to happiness” while another person sport a shirt that says, “I knit to stay sane.”

In other ramblings, and happy mom-news, Sonja has actually flat-out said that she finds her university agriculture courses interesting. I’m thrilled, of course. Applied science is always interesting, but she was, I suspect, worried that it would bring her to tears of boredom and be a complete slog for the next three years. And with a new focus, I hope she will be happier with university in general.

The weather has suddenly, drastically turned to fall as of yesterday. It feels horrifyingly cold and it makes me feel like I should frantically bring all my tomatoes off the garden. Of course, there was that one year where September was crap weather and October was glorious, so I think I’ll just cool my heels and put on a sweater for now. On gloomy mornings like today, I am going light my incense, and plug in a good audio book while I clean the kitchen. And then it’s off to all things wooly before a very busy weekend.

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now september

I have been doing, doing, doing, chipping away at to-do lists, and still feeling like so much to be done. I don’t know if that is a September thing or not.

A subsequent trip to the garden revealed that someone else had been doing my harvesting for me, and they walked away with almost every watermelon and cantaloupe. Harsh, but realistic for where I garden. I cut my losses and took my three pumpkins home with me that day. They were completely orange, and a large, easy target.

The squash are untouched, so far, and they usually stay that way. When we were in Italy last October, the girls ended up taking them off the garden for me; worried about frost.

With the day’s getting shorter, it feels like there is so much more to do, and so much less time in which to do it. The clear off date for the garden (October 15) seems to come faster every year. Of course, it doesn’t help that the tomatoes are just ripening in September.

Just to think…the tomatoes are ripening in September, and the pumpkins are already off the garden. What a strange summer.

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this day

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*** A beautiful day for a bike ride with Elena. I took her a little over half-way along my bike ride to work. It was the first time she got to ride my commute, and she was impressed with me; yes, there are hills on that route!

*** The asters are not quite blooming, but the pumpkins are turning orange. The squash at the garden is amazing. My plan to minimize weeding at the garden was successful…the squash plants got huge!

*** The fireworks at the baseball game on Tuesday were spectacular. And our team won the game in a nail biter, too.

*** There was so little rain this summer, but the tomato plants still did well. That fresh, garden tomato flavour is indescribable.

*** One more week of beautiful summer!

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with wool

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I love making these crochet animals! There is just something about a homemade baby gift that I can’t resist. Baby quilts are lovely, too (and a bit more practical) but these cute creatures are so quick and easy to make. This chimpanzee (and as such, no tail to make!) was given to a friend of mine for her grandson.

I’m getting a bit more involved in spinning these last few months, and because I’m extremely inconsistent, I’m happy to use it to make animals. Crochet hides a multitude of sins! The first batt that I spun was called a “felting batt,” which was kind of coarse and had a lot of nubbly bits in it. I’m not sure if most of the inconsistencies are a result of the quality of batt, or skill of the spinner (leaning toward the latter) but at least I know what the end product will be. One of the things that turned me off of spinning a few years ago was that frustrating question, “So what do I make with it?”

Waste makes me feel guilty, so to have left-overs in the yarn bin, or worse, whole skeins of good wool with no purpose really bother me. Just…waiting there for inspiration. Guilt no more!!! There are going to be some very quirky animals crocheted in the next little while!

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tussock

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I probably should have been an entomologist, what with the strange fascination for weird and beautiful bugs. Isn’t he great? He’s going to turn into a tussock moth, but he shouldn’t be on my Nanking cherry bush; supposedly he prefers apples.

My apple tree is on the way out, though, and maybe he knows it. That poor tree has girdled roots and now root borers at the base of the trunk. I’m only keeping it alive long enough to harvest the apples that are on it, and then it’s replacement will go in. Although I have no guarantee that the borers will not move into the new tree, I’ll take my chances. We had a saying at work this spring; there are no gardening mistakes, only experiments.

Time to try something new! (And if the apple doesn’t work out, there is always plum!)

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