Sunday, August 14, 2005

Busy, busy

It's been a busy week and I just haven't been able to make time to update this blog. The problem now is trying not to write a super long post. I think I'm going to have to break up the updates a into more than one entry because I also have a lot of photos, too.

First, a family update. Fiona is growing up quite nicely and we may get to bring her home as soon as next week! I saw her on Friday and was happy to see that she is scampering along really well now. When we first met her about 2 weeks ago, she was barely able to walk. It's amazing how fast kittens grow!

Sue reported that she had been eating a bit of solid food every day and that she was ready for litter box training, too. I'm getting more and more excited every day about adding her to our household. Her eyes look very blue in this photo, and I hope they stay that way.

I got to visit with Fiona and introduce her to Sadie on Friday. Poor Sadie will need to have another tooth extracted this week. This is the second tooth she has chipped since we've adopted her, and I just can't figure out how she's doing it. The chipped tooth is one of her molars in the back and there is pulp exposed so it will have to be pulled.

Mark booked our Amtrak tickets and made our hotel reservations last week, so now it's official: we're going to Washington, D.C. in October. We love taking the train and just kicking back and relaxing the whole way to our destination. The standard "roomette," as it's called by Amtrak, is small and we can't sleep next to each other in the small beds, but we still enjoy the journey this way. With these accomodations we get complementary meals and non-alcoholic beverages. I figure that if we add up the cost of one evening in a hotel, airfare, and meals for two adults for a day, we pretty much break even on the cost and experience is much more enjoyable for me than the craziness of air travel these days.

We had the choice of two different routes to take, the Cardinal or the Capitol Limited. The Cardinal route is longer but much more scenic, so we booked our outbound passage on it. We'll be going through the Blue Ridge Mountains right about the time that leaves are changing. On the way back, we'll take the shorter route through Pittsburgh and Cleveland. Not as scenic, but still relaxing. And, I'm sure I'll get lots of knitting time!

Yesterday I went to Stitches Midwest with Adrienne and some of the ladies from SnB. Afterwords, I had a little party at the house so we could kick back and relax and show off our stash enhancments. Let me just say that I went a bit nuts at Stitches and leave at that for now. More to come later and lots of photos, too.

...On the needles...

Yes, I did finish Sitcom Chic and it fits just fine. Another success! I'd say the only major difference between mine and the pattern is that I put the button on the opposite side. The pattern calls for putting the button on the left side and creating a crochet chain button loop on the right. I was working on the front bands sort of late Friday night and thought that I'd left an extra long tail on the right, when I had actually done so on the left. Rather than join yarn on the right to create the button hole, I just decided to switch the button placement. No biggie really, although as women's garments are made with the buttons on the left, it is a bit confusing to fasten the closure. The button is a cute little fishy.

Here I was thinking I really liked working with the Cotton Ease and then I get into skeins 3 and 4 to finish of Sitcom Chic. Lots of knots that needed to be cut and then new yarn joins. Yuck! I hat a lot of ends to weave in, so as it hit 1 AM Saturday morning, I gave up and set it aside. I couldn't wear it to Stitches, but I was able to finish it today and wear it to Eve's party.

I've finished my swatching for the baby sweater and will cast on tonight, then probably just put it aside and go to bed. I'm pooped! I've gotten about 5 hours of the sleep each night for the past 2 nights and had a LOT of wine last night, so I'm ready to fall into bed pretty early tonight.

...In the garden...

Another cucumber! It's crazy that this the second time I've spotted a cuke hanging from the lilac bush when I've been bending over to harvest an eggplant. So, I've harvested a grand total of 3 cucumbers this year. Not a lot. I spotted one cucumber beetle and squished it, but I'm sure that's not the reason the cuke is so slow. My neighbor Karen suggested I add a bit more bonemeal to the soil. So far, I haven't had the time to do so.

More beans! I used beans from the garden to make a salad for the party yesterday: steamed string beans with a dijon vinaigrette dressing. I also used the giant cuke to make another cold salad. I love serving food from my garden! The cucamelon is finally putting out more blossoms so I hope to harvest a few more of the little fruits.

I'm really loving the Nodding Wild Onions, a native prairie plant, that I planted in the front of the house. Isn't this lovely?

The flowers are white when they first open and then as they age they turn light pink. They look so graceful, too. Another native that I added this year is an ornamental grass labled Purple Love Grass. I really like the soft, floating seedheads on the top. They look very airy and light.

The sweet black-eyed susans are just opening now and are looking very good. The bee balm is taking over the bed, though. It is sprawling all over and sort of smothering some of the other plants. I was warned that it could be invasive, so it looks like I'll have to cut it back some.

OK, time to get ready for bed. I'll post about Stitches Midwest later. I could fill an entire post with the experience!

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