Sunday, April 15, 2012

Oh garden how I love thee...

The sun is shining and so the delightful work outside begins again.  I say delightful because I am a fair weather gardener.  I have a very difficult time motivating my gardening self when it is cloudy.  Sunny and cool, no problem.  In fact all the better.  Got myself a new pair of clippers and heavy work gloves then set to work on my unruly wild roses.  They are now pruned to within an inch of their thorny little lives.  I know, I probably waited a little too long to prune them back but honestly I am not getting out there in February with the wind, rain and slush to prune.  So now it is up to them.  Thrive or 'you're out'.  I'm brutal.

We took out a huge butterfly bush that had grown way to big for it's was stealing the sun from some other more treasured plantings so, 'you're out'!  This is the Mr.  taking care of the last of the branches while I was pruning another area of wild roses.  I did not prune them to within an inch of their lives as I am performing a nature experiment.  I will report on my findings as the spring and summer progress.

Certain areas have been overtaken by this...I think it is vinca minor.  I would hate to see what it would do if it were v. major!  It is so pretty but it has gone where it was not meant to be and now I am torn.  Pull a lot of it out or let is survive.  Time will tell.

I also (cover your eyes if you love snails and slugs) lay down the law and a huge box of 'slug death'.  Yes, I am the Grim Reaper to the slug population of my yard.  I don't care what anyone says, they are not going to eat my yard this year!  And just to prove how serious I am about this, are you listening slugs?  Because you may want to move along to another yard, I bought another huge box of death at the nursery today.  And I plan on using it.  Frequently.  Unmercifully.  Which reminds me of a story about death to slugs.  Many years ago I worked in the ER with another nurse who not only hated slugs as much as me, she was willing to get down to hand-to-hand combat with the slimy creatures.  Early in the morning when the dew was fresh and the slugs were munching to their hearts content, she would slip out of the house, quietly wielding her scissors and yes!  She ran around her yard maniacally cutting the slugs in half.  Yuck!  This still makes me want to throw up just a little.  She reveled in it however.  She was tough as nails.  I was a little afraid of her.  So my method which is still killing, seems a little less violent.

I love gardening.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Creation from the past

Thirty two years ago I was living in Lexington Kentucky with the Mr. as he finished up his PhD and then taught at the University of Kentucky for a few years.  I was working the evening shift at one of the hospitals and taking various classes during the day before work.
There was a wonderful old school house that was converted into classrooms for learning different crafts in town so I decided that I wanted to take an Amish Quilt class to make a wall hanging to give to my sister and her husband for their wedding present.  I had never done quilting before but I had lots of experience sewing.  Our mom taught us to sew when we were pretty young and so I had make clothes for myself for years.  This quilting class was a whole different beast altogether.  Everything we did was by hand, piecing and quilting.  No machine touched this quilt except my hands.  Bloody and pin pricked as they were.  I think I still can see some tiny little blood spots from my toils.  Not really but that adds a bit of drama to the whole endeavor.
I was so proud of this quilt square and was happy to give it to the newlyweds.  I also vowed to never quilt again!  It was hard work and I didn't really enjoy it so much.
Just look at those perfect little stitches!

Skip ahead 32 years and here I am eating my words.  Happily quilting away again.  Although I am using my sewing machine this time, I am planning to do some hand quilting as well.  I'm enjoying it now unlike when I was in my twenties.  Maybe I just needed a little maturity...and some work toughened hands to get going again.

Still hanging after all these years

I'm happy that they still like it too

Saturday, April 7, 2012

This weekend...

...the pursuit of happiness took us up to Vancouver for a long weekend with the family.  We've had wonderful sunny spring weather, great for walk-about's and wandering.  Yesterday we went downtown to see our neice's new condo all done up.  It is warm and inviting.  I want to live there!  We wandered down Shanghai Ally to Chinatown, went in search of a monkey claw back scratcher for me but had no luck.  Of course I don't want a real monkey claw, just one that looks like one.  But we did see "2 for 1" dried gekko's, good for eye health and kidney health.  We thought the Mr. would benefit from the tea you make from dried gekko, his kidneys could use some help.  He was not as enthusiastic as we were about the whole deal.
Yummy dried gekko

More yummy dried sea cucumbers

I need the Clever Mind herbal tea
We walked around Dr. Sun Yat-sen gardens...

We had dinner downtown at Nuba's.  Wonderful Lebanese food!  Then headed home to the north shore for an evening of the game "Ticket to Ride".  And because we are old we sat around and took each other's blood pressure for a few laughs.  We did not talk about bodily functions, we aren't that old!