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Posts Tagged ‘spring’

Today will be our first 80 F / 26 C degree day. The first real temperature change always throws me for a loop. I either over estimate or under estimate how warm or cool it’s going to get and end up dressing inappropriately. I have no illusions of getting it right today.

In other news, Yarn Rascal has decided he’s a hunter this year. His breed has no hunting genes, but that doesn’t seem to stop him. He runs from window to window and door to door yipping and growling as he whips himself up into a small lunatic. All the animals are moving this time of year, but we don’t know which one in particular is setting him off.

His breed is known to wander. The yard is large and bordered by woods on three sides, so the Rascal is always on a leash when he’s outside. It is quite an exercise for the arms walking him when he is in hunting mode. On the upside, yarn is the farthest thing from his mind when he is hunting.

It is also the growing season. Racks and racks of seedlings are sitting downstairs under grow lights, getting the tending that all seedlings need. Some have been repotted already, others are just reaching the repotting stage. I can’t complain about The Skipper this year, because I’ve added a significant number of seedlings to take us over the normal amount. Once again I have meticulously researched and sought out specific flowering plants that deer and rabbits don’t eat. I’ve selected color and the texture of the foliage so that it is a harmonious mix. Something enjoyable to look at during the summer. I’ve made sure that the plants are beneficial to birds, bees, and butterflies. Usually the whole scenario ends badly. Either the deer or rabbits decide to extend their menu options or The Skipper, in his infinite wisdom, mistakenly pulls them up thinking they are weeds. I am going to do my best to try and avoid those scenarios this year.

Knitting has taken place. Pictures will be forth coming. One baby sweater is ready for public release. The second is ready for test knitters. The third is trying my serenity, but is close to done…providing the yarn holds out. Yes, I may have miscalculated yardage. Yes, it is a specific hand-dyed colorway that cannot be matched. Yes, the bonnet is crucial to the look of the overall design. No, I don’t know what I am going to do if I run out of yarn. To make it even more interesting, I used scrap yarn from my stash for a color accent. I thought I had enough of that yarn too. But now I don’t know. I’ve tossed the stash to find more, but came up with nothing. This is masochistic knitting at its best. Still, I knit on.

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I was knitting along on the Feelin’ Groovy baby sweater’s sleeve, positive that I had the wrong numbers, when the weather guy on the television said the words “snow” and “5 to 12 inches” (13 to 30.5) cm. I sputtered a little in my knitting, changing to purl stitches on what was clearly a knit row as I glanced at the television sure the guy was talking about the mountains of Colorado or something equally distant and high. But The Skipper wasn’t watching the Weather Channel, he was watching the local news station.

My next two thoughts were almost simultaneous. Damn I have to rip those purl stitches out and why is the local weather guy talking about the Adirondacks? Before I eradicated the purl stitches I once more looked over my notes and again felt sure I had botched the sleeve numbers. Then I went on to speak about a happier topic: the possibility of getting a jump on the planting season and dropping the delphinium seeds into the ground early. I had, after all, already planted the peas and lettuce.

I returned to knitting the knit rows and purling the purl rows when The Skipper said didn’t I just hear snow was coming for the weekend? I instantly began to purl again on a knit row.

For the record I want MoNa (Mother Nature) to know that I plan to fight back. This morning I bought the proper row covers to keep the snow off the lettuce and the peas. I will install them this windy, grey, gloomy afternoon. Also, I am not going to plant my delphinium seeds as planned. As for the hellebore that has promising blooms on it, I am going to construct a cover to save it from your wrath. MoNa can do what she wants this weekend, while I figure out why the numbers on the knitted sleeve seem wonky.

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Come On Spring!

I’m afraid to say it. Scared that if I say it some abominable snow storm will miraculously form and descend right on us. But I am going to say it anyway, albeit in a whisper: I think we may have an early Spring. If we do, it would be a very good thing indeed because the tadpole that has wintered over in the fish tank with the other infant gold fish from our pond is now a frog. A very tiny frog, but a frog nonetheless. So, I have been researching and running around trying to find what makes a good indoor frog environment and what the heck does a little frog eat until we can put him out in the pond in the Spring.

In my search, I discovered areas in the bigger pet stores I didn’t know existed as well as uncovering smaller pet stores that catered to…um…shall we say more esoteric “pets”. Let’s just say as far as the smaller “pet” shops go my hair stood on end more than once and I had full blown panic attacks in two. The last word I am going to say about these alternative shops is that some people keep very strange and often dangerous animals as “pets”. I will never again enter an unknown dwelling without asking the person what if any “pets” are present.

With the accoutrements collected and food for the little frog in hand, I came home and set up his new digs. Yarn Rascal was all over everything, working himself up into a lather. While Yarn Rascal’s breed has no hunting dog genes in it, Yarn Rascal is quite the little hunter. Rabbits, squirrels, chipmunks, crickets, toads, and we can now add frogs to the list, all get his attention.

With the new digs set up I was prepared to simply move the small—smaller than my pinky finger–fella from the fish tank to its new home right next door. Yarn Rascal was in full leaping, barking and yelping mode, The Skipper was trying to explain to me how to move the frog and I had just removed the lid of the fish tank and was getting ready to pick up the frog and place him in his new home when the frog did what frogs do: it jumped out of the tank onto the floor. My first thought was OMG he’s so tiny nobody move or we’ll step on him. This thought quickly passed from my mind though, when Yarn Rascal squealed with delight and went to “catch” the tiny thing in his mouth. But the frog was faster and made another giant leap. This time into the middle of the living room. The Skipper and I fell over each other trying to retrieve the dog before he got the frog and trying to catch the frog before he got away into some nook or cranny and we lost him.

Neither The Skipper nor I are young. He is in his 70s I am 60. Two elderly people scrambling while the frog keeps leaping and Yarn Rascal keeps pursuing. The frog briefly made it to the couch and so did Yarn Rascal. Then it was on top of my knitting and so was Yarn Rascal. It’s the first time I’ve ever seen Yarn Rascal show no interest in yarn. Next the frog landed on the side table, so did Yarn Rascal and over went the lamp and scattered picture frames onto the floor. Two giant leaps later the frog landed on the wood stacked by the fireplace and then it was onto the side table of all tables, the one with the antique porcelain I had so painstakingly collected.

“Not the porcelain”, I shouted and caught Yarn Rascal mid leap, while The Skipper threw one of my knitted shawls over the top of the table. I fell onto the sofa with Yarn Rascal squiggling in my arms, panting, his tongue hanging down to his little feet. The Skipper and I both watched the shawl as the little lump beneath it tried to leap.

All told, it took about 20 minutes from the time the little fella escaped from the tank and was then sequestered in his new home. It took a full glass of water and a long soak in the bathtub before my nerves settled into a low roar. The Skipper went downstairs into his man cave and tended to the seedlings we’ve started for the growing season. Yarn Rascal slurped a bowl of water and none-the-worse-for-the-wear positioned himself outside the bathroom door busily chewing one of his bones. Truly, I can’t wait for Spring.

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What’s Going On

Spring has sprung and everything is, as usual, happening all at once.

1) My allergies are ramping up nicely. Each day more sneezes, itchy eyes and nose. Can Summer, the height of allergy season for me, be far behind?

2) Frogs. Yes, my friends, all the frogs that wintered over are coming out. I am so happy to see them. Last night Yarn Rascal “caught” a Peeper. I have heard the peepers sing every year of my life but until last night I’d never seen one. He was a cute little fellow and appreciated being rescued. Yarn Rascal, it is clear, knows no bounds lately. I put a call into the emergency vet because some frogs / toads can be toxic and we had already had one brush with toxicity earlier. (See below).

Tulips on windowsill

3) Speaking of toxic, I bought some pink and yellow tulips to brighten up the kitchen yesterday. Even though I am extremely careful never to drop anything on the floor because Yarn Rascal is a vacuum that’s always on, I must have let slip one tulip cutting, and dang if that dog didn’t grab it and run into the living room with it. While at the same time, The Skipper’ children and grand kids arrived and the Poland Spring water delivery guy came up the drive. Tulips, daffodils are all toxic to pets. So I put a call into the vet. He suggested I give Yarn Rascal a time out and if he started showing signs of sickness rush him to the hospital. With the grand kids here, Yarn Rascal was having no part of a time out. Instead, I gave myself one and used it to meditate.

4) My mammogram came back A-Okay yesterday! I love my doctors. I love my life.

5) I joined Claire’s Lace Leaf KAL. I’ve never done a KAL before. But I like the people who have joined this one and, like the child I can be, wanted to be included. Suffice it to say, everyone has way more done than I do and their projects look lovely. Mine looks like the nest of a small mouse.

6) Speaking of mice, Yarn Rascal has been hunting something in the house. I fear it is one of the small field mice so I’ve set the Have-A-Heart-Traps. When I catch the little imp I’ll move it to the barn where it can frolic and play till its tuckered out.

7) I bought more yarn. This time for a sweater for me. I am officially on a no new yarn diet.

8) I started back working out with Tai Chi. There is nothing like trying to perform controlled, fluid, slow, relaxed movements to highlight just how crazy, tense, and hyper I am. Two years ago my breast cancer interrupted my Tai Chi. Two years later and I am back at it. I am doing my best to walk away from cancer and not let it affect me emotionally, mentally or spiritually anymore.

9) I’ll say it again. I love my life.

Tulips on table

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In A Rush

Yes, I should be writing the second part of sleeve cap knitting, but today has been crazy and I am running late.

The cold weather has returned. I read a number of blogs whose bloggers reside in England and Scotland. From their pictures Spring has most certainly arrived there, but not here. Snow still covers patches of ground, but the garden is snow free. I am trying to find organic grass seed at the local stores. Chemicals mixed with grass seed galore, no organic grass seed in sight.

The areas I dug out earlier this winter for Yarn Rascal are really showing up with the snow almost gone. Truly, the yard looks like a treasure hunt gone very wrong. While I know The Skipper likes his grass, I don’t want chemicals on the lawn. Also I know the birds are going to eat the seed once I put it down, so I want it to be natural and organic for them too. Between the amount the birds will eat and the territory I have to cover, frankly I need a ton of seed.

On a positive note, my MRI showed no further breast cancer. I celebrated with a shopping spree. I hit the craft store for me, the pet store for Yarn Rascal (2 new toys and he’s already destroyed one) and for The Skipper I made up for no grass seed with a freshly made organic carrot cake, his favorite dessert. When at first you don’t succeed buy them their favorite cake.

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