Thursday, May 31, 2007

Some Garden Lovelies

We're having quite the thunderstorm here right now, so I thought I would post some bright pics from the garden thus far. Sadly, my really good camera is at the shop, but these will have to hold you until I get it back!

This first one is one of two peonie trees I have, sadly, I didn't get a picture of the other one in bloom before the petals went awol. They have been in the ground three years, and this is the first year they bloomed. And, they smell good, too.

I love Clematis. I am currently growing three kinds. I don't know the names off the top of my head, but they are lots of fun once they take off. The first one took three years to look like this. The second one, was just planted this year, and isn't producing much, but it just makes me look forward to next year.

This is the first Iris of the season. The color is just happy, I can't think of a better word, so happy will have to do for now.

And lastly, these are the two things in my garden I am most proud of, for obvious reasons:

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Going Green

I have been meaning to post about this for a while, but today seemed a good day to talk about it. Had a migraine this morning so I am not feeling uber creative, but wanted to pass along some good info.

I am the last person I ever expected to really start caring about the environment. I am the person who complains about every single container that I have to recycle. I am also the person that is often lazy about recycling, but no more.

A few years ago, we joined an organic farm for the summer. We've now been members for our (upcoming) fourth summer. I like doing this for several reasons. Our supermarket food really scares me. Between the engineering, and the farm practices and the chemicals and pesticides, you have to wonder what we are really consuming. Not to mention how over-farmed our land is (are there any vitamins left in our super fruits and veggies?). Buying local, helps the local economy, helps me feel good about what is going into my body and the bodies of my family. It's obviously helping the earth because they aren't putting all that crap back into our land. And the food tastes WAY better. Not marginally better, significantly better.

That was probably my first major green lightbulb moment. Then came the actual lightbulbs. Slowly but surely, we're changing over to the better bulbs. They are kind of a PIA. They have to heat up to get the brightness you would get with a regular light, but I have to admit, on this one, it has nothing to do with the environment for me. It has to do with the fact that I am living in the Northeast and they are killing us on the utilities. My freaking electric bill is a literal suck. And at least, now they are even making the dimmable lights.

There are several other things I am doing, but so as not to bore you, when I come across a genuinely good suggestion, I am passing it along. I am buying into the hype that if we are all doing a little bit here and a little bit there, then hopefully we will have a chance to save it all. Plus I have to make up for the fact that I drive an SUV and I stll have a lot left on the lease so it's not going anywhere anytime soon.

Here's the tip for today, For $36 a year, they help you get rid of your junkmail. I had just said to DH yesterday that I was going to start calling all the catalogs that I don't buy from or that I receive in duplicate or triplicate, to get them off my back and low and behold some smarty pants built a decent, honest, business around it. Right now, they are also donating $2 of every membership to fund up to 10,000 Child ID Kits in Honor of National Missing Children's Day. This is a huge win-win-win. Less junk mail, more trees, help the kids, not to mention saving a ton of water. Oh, and hopefully saving the back of my postal delivery carrier who is the best woman.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Some good news

I'm not automatically addicted to handspinning! I'm not saying I might not do it in the future, but I clearly didn't love it the way I had feared I might. Though, I didn't have time to try the actual spinning wheel so perhaps that might have started me on my way down the path of spinning until my fingers bleed. But, it was interesting learning about the different kinds of sheep. I look forward to seeing a lot of them in person when I finally get my butt to one of these crafting festival deals.

This week is nuts, so I am not sure how much I will have time to blog. I do have some knitting pictures to post, but that will have to be tomorrow, I've got a little bit more work tonight before I finally get some sleep!

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Ewephoric Day--Lily Chin Rocks!

What a day! I spent most of the day at the first day of Ewephoric Weekend (sponsored by Marji's Yarncrafts)with the fabulous Lily Chin. Now I know why Holly stalks her! Even though I haven't taken a ton of classes, I know a good instructor when I see one. It was so nice to have someone who was enthusiastic, patient, and energetic. I took her Savvy Pick-Up class or I should say that I forced myself to take the class because of how much I hate to pick up. Talk about your tips and tricks. I can now pick up and purl, I can pick up without making my seams look too bulky, I can pick up with a really neat seam and on and on. I think they re-aired the episode of Knitty Gritty that Lily was on (well, she has been on more than one) where she did Tips and Tricks yesterday, so I need to go and check the DVR.

I was supposed to be in her morning class as well but Sugar Bear had a gland on the side of her neck that you could see due to how enlarged it was. Had to get her to the doc this a.m. and in addition they think she has an infected lymphnode or two though the rapid strep was negative (there has been a bunch of strep at school). She's on the mend though.

Tomorrow I am learning Hand Spinning. I think this is an enormous mistake on my part because, frankly, I should not be doing any more needle crafts! I'm completely out of control.

Not to mention, I bought a boatload of yarn today. I bought yarn to make a reversible jacket of Ms. Chin's as well as a sweater for my mom (though which major holiday she will receive that as a gift is up for discussion). And you know, there was Koigu there at Marji's and we all know what happens when I am in its proximity. Oh, and a needlefelting kit because I want to do some of that with Sugar Bear. She's my needlecraft rock and roller, I'm hoping she can teach me how to embroider this summer.

Time to hit the hay, another big day tomorrow!

Friday, May 18, 2007

I Got tagged!

My online friend, J. of Nap Lover tagged me for a meme, so here I am to tell you about it!

Here are the rules:
Each person tagged gives 7 random facts about
themselves. Those tagged need to write in their
blogs the 7 facts, as well as the rules of the game. You need
to tag seven others and list their names on your blog.
You have to leave those you plan on tagging a note in
their comments so they know that they have been tagged
and to read your blog.

I think I am fairly random in general so this shouldn't be hard:

1) I love Five Guys Burgers and Fries. This is a former Washingtonian thing, though they now have a location near me. These are the best burgers on the Earth and if you have never had them, get your hiney there and get one. Unless of course you have a peanut allergy in which case it's a no go because they serve unlimited peanuts while you wait. I had one yesterday on my way back from DC (I went to the rally in DC where my grandfather was speaking, lots more on this later) and it was so fantastic I almost had a second.

2) I speak pretty good French, decent Italian and I can read and understand Greek though I am often uncomfortable speaking it with my friends who really speak it.

3) I am addicted to peanut butter and chocolate together. No, really. I should enter treatment because I think that at some point this is going to send me into a diabetic state. One of my favorite snacks is fat free chocolate Jell-o pudding with a scoopful of peanut butter. Obviously the peanut butter cancels out the fat free pudding.

4) I am from an enormous Greek family. I'm third generation born in this country which is getting a little less rare, but still not the norm. We're crazy close, and yes the movie is all true, however they left out a lot of the truly weird stuff in the interest of time. . . not weird to us because we're living it, but weird to everyone else, especially those not from an ethnic family.

5) My favorite color is purple. It hasn't changed since I was a little girl and I surround myself with it. My garden is full of it (highlighted by shades of pink). I wear it a lot. I dye yarn with it a lot. It's my go-to happy color.

6) My husband and I are 21 years apart. No, I'm not a trophy wife. No, I didn't take him from several kids and an ex-wife. No, he has no other children that we are aware of. And yes, people have actually asked me these questions within finding out this nugget and only knowing me for five seconds.

7) I have hardly watched the news in the last two weeks, which, if you read the blog on a regular basis, you know this is crazy for me. Not sure why, but I just can't hear the depressing stuff right now. Just can't take it at this juncture.

And here are the people I am tagging:







Sock Pr0n

They are all great blogs you should read!

Monday, May 14, 2007

Day of Action--Enough is Enough

This Thursday, May 17th, thousands of transportation workers will gather on the National Mall in Washington, D. C. to protest the federal government's policies of ignoring safety and security of workers in the interest of profit and putting ahead the needs of corporate people ahead of workers.

And my grandfather is going to be one of the speakers! I've talked about him before, and I mention this today because I find it to be awe-inspiring that a man who has been retired from his chosen profession for 17 years, a man who is now 82-years-old is being asked to speak to thousands of airline workers (as well as any other transportation workers who happen to be there). He, of course, mentioned it in passing to my family as if it is not a big deal, but out of the literally hundereds or thousands of people that they could have chosen as their spokesperson, they picked him, and that's pretty darn cool.

For more information on the rally, you can visit IAM Enough is Enough. And if you are in the DC area, the rally is up near Capitol Hill, starts at 10:00 and the fabulous Chic (his nickname, I swear) will be speaking around 11:30 a.m.

Anyone who thinks unions are obselete can be greatly informed at an event such as this. I just hope that the Democratic leaders expected to attend this rally have their eyes and their ears open because this will have an enormous impact on the 2008 presidential cycle. These grassroots people will help someone get elected, and the leaders attending better hope that it's them.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Happy Mother's Day

To all of you muthas, Happy Mother's Day. I spent the day with all my children and wanted to share a few photos with you. Spring has sprung here in New England and I am spending every spare minute in the garden (I know, what a shock). I look forward to this time of year when I get to see everything really coming together.

First, a photo of Wilbur because he is growing so fast! He's almost 16 pounds already . . . and getting to be a little much to pick up. He's not nipping at all of our heels as much (my skin is so much happier) and DH is getting him to quit the annoying little bark. It's pretty amusing because when he barks he gets this look on his puppy face like, Is that my voice? (To really get what I mean, you have to watch Emperor's New Groove, it's a comment Eartha Kitt makes near the end)

And just because there's no dog like an old dog, our man Cal, much recovered from us stealing his manhood around the holidays. He has seemed to perk up a bit since Wilbur's arrival. Yep, anger can really keep you going at 91.

The next shot was a Mother's Day at Mimi's school pic. If I could figure out how to get the video out of my video camera and onto my computer (technical difficulties are somewhat of a rarity for me and they are leaving me really irritated, not to mention that the really good camera is having what Sony describes as not quite a recall, but something they are willing to fix on their dime), I would share the video of her singing with you too. For now, just the still of us together.

And finally, Sugar Bear in the meadow behind our house. Every spring, I try to get photos of them in the meadow among the high grass and wildflowers before my eventual job of mowing it down.This wasn't the exact shot that I wanted, but it sure is cute anyway. It's easier when I get the girls unaware, but with the distraction of Wilbur, that was nearly impossible today.

I have a bunch to talk about this week, gardening, knitting, seeing Bob and Lee Woodruff, my grandfather getting to talk on the National Mall . . . stay tuned.