I'm still tired and not quite healthy but lately I'm feeling like I need to get back to the stuff I normally do, like gardening and taking pictures. Last weekend I kind of did both. At least I got close. I nailed the pictures part. This is one of my lilac bushes. I promised a friend some progress shots and that was before the winter reared it's ugly head again. Happily I can say that my lilacs continue to sprout leaves and show every intention of flowering soon. As for the gardening I've still got a bit of work to do. Stinkette and I went to the nursery last weekend and bought seeds and strawberry plants and a bunch of other stuff. Now we just need to plant the stuff. Like I said, we got close but we're not quite there yet.
Mar 29, 2011
- Because it's way cheaper than buying books.
- And because even if you did have the money for it, there isn't enough room on your shelves (or under your bed) to store all the books you'd like to buy.
- Because everyone else is doing it!
- Because according to the patrons of my library - it's more satisfying to flip the pages of a book back and forth in paper than on an e-reader.
- But if you do have an e-reader... they have books for you to rent and use on that too!
- Because many libraries have great databases that you can use online in the comfort of your own home.
- Because it's quieter there - especially when your neighbor is on round eleventy-billion of noisy home improvement.
- Because they even have books on cd there for long car trips and those who have difficulty reading (this last one is really important if the person with the reading disability loves, loves, loves to read books and is on a Harry Potter kick).
- Because librarians know stuff! Really!
- Beacause you never know other cool stuff you'll find there!
Mar 28, 2011
This has been such a weird Spring. A little over a week ago i was out taking pictures of stuff like this. Know what it is? Those are just some of the leaves that will soon transform my backyard into a private little sanctuary very soon. Below is a picture of my yard taken yesterday morning. The white coating on the deck railing is SNOW! When I woke up there was a thin coating of the stuff on my deck and the branches of the trees but by noon it was mostly gone. Translation - my nocturnal teen never saw it at all. Snow is weird this late in March but not terribly upsetting because of this. Those are the buds on Yoshi, the Cherry Blossom tree in my yard. According to people who know, those unopened buds shouldn't be adversely effected by the cold. That's really all I need to know because nothing comes between me and my blossoms.
Posted by hillary at 11:38 AM
Mar 18, 2011
Yesterday I got a panicked call from my husband. He called to tell me that he had bumped into a table in our living room while vaccuuming and my camera, which I love very much, had fallen on the floor. My macro lens (the most expensive lens in my collection) was attached to it at the time and he was sure that it was broken. Poor Bruce was very afraid of my reaction - not that I'm scary or anything.
Luckily this story has a happy ending. I got home and immediately checked out my camera. When I pulled off the lens cover shattered glass fell out but... it turns out that it was just the UV filter that I keep on the lens to protect it that broke. Not good but certainly not a tradgedy.
I went out right away and took the picture above just to make sure that the lens was still in working order. I think the result speaks for itself. Yay!
By the way, those are my lilacs. Spring is clearly very close.
Mar 17, 2011
I'm finally feeling pretty good and I may even have a wee bit more energy, just in time for the third trimester slow down. Sometimes that's just how it goes.
Anyway, I got home yesterday and for once I didn't feel totally exhausted so I grabbed my camera (which was recently cleaned and is perfect once again) and went out to survey the yard. I wanted to get an idea of what spring cleaning would entail so that I could make the appropriate arrangements with our outdoor guy.
It was really nice to get outside and I was a little surprised by what I found. Here was the scene by the basement stairs next to the deck. I guess that the hummingbird feeder blew off the deck in one of our wicked wind storms. The bottom, feeder part looks like it broke off so maybe we'll get a new one. The blue board was part of something else that suffered the same fate. In the picture below you can see the rest of that bird house. It was kind of cute before it got smashed.
I wish the wind had left these alone but neither item was terribly expensive or irreplaceable so it's all fine. I find that I kind of like the pictures of them in their destroyed state.
Posted by hillary at 8:54 AM
Mar 15, 2011
I wasn't going to do the list today. Mostly because I just can't think of 10 pies I love but, now I've got pie on the brain so I'm putting together my abbreviated list so that I can get on with the things tha rightfully ought to be cluttering my brain.
- Apple - I prefer mine with an oatmeal crumble top. I simply cannot resist a good apple pie and I've been told that I make a pretty good one too.
- Blueberry - My mom says that she only made it once or twice when I was little but the memory of picking blueberries from our neighbors bushes to make pie is so strong that I've planted 4 blueberry bushes around my house in the hope of growing enough to make pie. It's hasn't happened yet but there's always next year.
- Cherry - Just yum!
- Pumpkin - It just goes perfectly with Thanksgiving.
- Key Lime - I can just imagine the wonderful tartness now.
- Lemon Chiffon - It can be too sweet sometimes but the occasional small piece is fab.
- Pecan - This is actually Bruce's favorite but it's grown on me over the years.
- Shoo Fly Pie - I was introduced to it when we went out to Amish county in Pennsylvania many years ago. Good times!
That's it. As I suspected I didn't quite have 10 but I was closer than I thought. Now i really want apple pie in the worst way!
Mar 9, 2011
Are you ready for something surprising? Look, it's actual knitting content! Not just any knitting either - it's a finished object. I may faint from the shock of it.
You'd think that with the ever-increasing amount of resting about the house that I'm doing that I'd be getting lot's of knitting done. In fact, a colleague at work commented on it just the other day. She was shocked when I told her that it had been months since I did any real knitting. Months! I'm kind of surprised too but I'm hopeful that as I slow down, my needles will speed up.
On to my first finished object of 2011. I know it's just a hat, but it's a very nice hat. The pattern is Turn A Square by the deservedly popular Jared Flood and it it perfect. Earlier in this bone-chillingly cold winter, my darling DQ asked for a close fitting hat to keep her warm when she was walking home from the bus. She didn't want anything fancy, just a hat that she could tuck her hair into so it didn't go flying about in the wind.
The pictures here only show her with her hair down but she did test the hat to make sure that she could tuck her hair in and pronounced it perfect. And would you look at how cool the decreases on it are? I just love the symmetry of the square.
Another reason why this project is a win - I used stash yarn. Woot! This was made of KP Merino Style in Storm and Tide Pool. It's so nice and soft. I'll have to find something really good to do with the considerable amount that I have left over because it would be a shame to waste it.
So with all the reasons why this project is wonderful let's not discuss the elephant in the room... the fact that I finished it after the worst of the winter was over. Yes, I finally finished my daughter's desperately needed hat just in time for spring! Not only that but I finished it a week after she bought a hat at the Capitals game.
Moving on... maybe now I can go make her matching mittens in time for the opening of the pool.
It probably speaks volumes that I can't seem to get myself together until the latter part of the week these days. Then again, at least I do eventually get myself together. It could be worse.
As I told Carole, I had this post mostly written in my head so, even though it is mo longer Tuesday, here's my list.
- Lemons and citrus - So fresh and pleasing
- The air after it rains - that's another one that smells fresh.
- Baking bread - that warm yeastiness says home
- Sauteeing Onions - My mom always said "When in doubt - fry onions" and there is definitely something to it.
- Chocolate chip cookies baking - I suppose that anything baking is good if you get right down to it.
- A turkey in the oven - one of my very favorite things about Thanksgiving.
- A fire burning - this is why people brave the bugs and the other discomforts to go camping. Isn't it?
- Satsuma body lotion - divine!
- Clean Babies - Yay! I'll be surrounded by baby smell soon.
- Strawberries - I just can't resist them when the smell hits me.
Definitely a theme going on with that list. Oh, wait - I forgot mulch. Mulch is one of those weird ones because it's not a good smell per se but I dare you to get a whiff and not think spring. Walking down the street here in the city that smell is everywhere as all the buildings get their exterior spruced up and their pansies planted.
Tune in tomorrow for something truly shocking - but in a good way.
Mar 4, 2011
I am trying to get back to my regular routines - including semi-regular posting. Sadly I find myself thwarted yet again. This time it's my camera. I think that there's dust in there or something because there are flaws in my pictures. Ugh!
It's ok. I'll go this weekend and get it looked at and all will be well again. Meanwhile I've got a little bit mental eye candy instead of the pictures I originally planned.
Last night I was sitting on the couch watching a show and, as usual, Stinkette was laying in my lap with her head on my belly. Sometimes she talks to it, sometimes she kisses it (awww...), but mostly she rests her head on it waiting to feel something.
The baby was moving around gently for a while and then suddenly it kicked rather hard and Stinkette jumped up with a big smile. She didn't feel it but she says that she heard it. According to her it sounded like a "thump". She was so excited!
Posted by hillary at 9:30 AM
Mar 1, 2011
It's March, a transitional month which is very hard to love. There are no Federal Holidays to provide us with long weekends to look forward to. Not many festivals either. The weather is weird and kind of all over the place.
Is it any wonder that we need a little help finding a reason not to stay in bed for the whole month?
And yet, the transitional nature of the month does offer a little bit of promise. Check it out...
- St Patricks Day - even if you're like me and only have a wee bit of Irish blood (oh yes I do!) this is one holiday that's hard to resist. All that green! All those adult beverages! And parades! Yay
- Growing things - Speaking of green, there are little green shoots hidden all over my yard. Even the dead remnants of last years garden can't completely obscure them.
- March Birthdays - My F-I-L, my cousin, and a friend or 2.
- Some days the weather will be warm enough to go out without a jacket. Sadly, some will not but it's still progress.
- More and more birds will return to the trees in my yard.
- Softball season will start for Stinkette
- Field hockey season will also start for Stinkette.
- Soon it'll be time to sign up for the pool again. True, that means writing out a check but still, isn't it reassuring to know that the pool's opening is just around the corner?
- The days will keep getting longer.
- By the end of March I will have reached the end of my second trimester. Yikes! I'm sure that by then I will be counting the days until the inhabitant is evicted.
Care to add to my list?