sunset

Taking My Time

I've been learning a lot about myself lately, and remembering a few things that are harder to remember than I like. One of which is that I do not have infinite resources and that I really do need to figure out how to recharge when I'm this low down on emotional and physical batteries of a sort.



spread out
On the flight to Seattle, I finished a "Little Colonnade" shawlette with a bit of "Age of Brass and Steam Kerchief". It was my worry stone, I suspect, what I was doing when I felt like I could do nothing else, and the simple knitting smoothed my heart and gave me an outlet for the emotions. I'd worked on it for just the week, and really enjoyed how the steampunk kerchief worked out so simply, but I liked doing a little extra at the end.

I was using yarn from Jen Hintz whose cat was having problems, and she needed to raise some money quickly for the cat's care. So she was having a sale on her Fibro Fibers Web site to make some money. The Other Gretchen had pointed out the lady's problem, so I went there and bought the Kamala "Runway" It seemed rich with colors, and it seemed to be for a good cause, too. Since it was cashmere and silk blended with wool, I wanted something that could be worn against the skin, instead of socks that would wear it out too fast.

It was interesting realizing that I often channel the energy of my emotions and feelings into other things: work, soccer, spinning, knitting, dyeing, paintings, or writing. The results seethe with that energy when I need it to, and I go to the complicated lace, the ever-changing sock, when I just want my mind occupied "enough". Writing is the one that satisfies the most, admittedly. However, sometimes it's nice to have something grow under my hands, and it was wonderful to end up with a shawl

Mary
While I was making it I thought it was going to be for myself, but I ended up giving it away to someone for whom the coloring clearly showed off to an advantage. And Mary really enjoyed it, and in the flash-photo you can see all the colors in Runway that you couldn't see in the other.

Okay, and you can see she's pretty happy with the kerchief. *grins*

I'm slowly recovering. Not sleeping well, yet, but that's to be mildly expected. And the weather here is ridiculous. Going from a foot of snow at the end of February to a week of 70's this week, and the warm air the day before yesterday was so insistent I went out and dug out my garden. It, along with pruning the raspberries, was something I should have done in the fall, but just hadn't had the time or the energy. I still didn't have the energy yesterday, but it really had to be done, and once I got into it, it was really good.

I dug out all the old tomato plants, dug out all the grasses that had grown up about them. I harvested the last of the carrots, still snug in their cold earthen beds, harvested the basil seeds for starting in the seed starter, and then started peering at all the tangles of garlic that are all coming up on one end of a bed. The raspberry bed was half overgrown with wild grasses that had blown in and come in with some of the plants themselves, and I knew I'd have to dig them all out. I ended up pruning first, getting all the plants down to one half-cut stalk. One thing with raspberries and pruning, is that if you cut them back harshly enough that they wonder about survival, they produce so much more in terms of fruit and plant than if you're a wimp and don't haul 'em all the way down. So I half filled a garbage can with raspberry canes, and cut them down to size.

My arms were crisscrossed in scratches and blood by the time we went to meet up with Jet's bus, but when we got back, I started to tackle the grasses, which were actually more difficult than the pruning. I had to start with water, soaking the ground to soften it just a little. Using a shovel and, eventually, a pitchfork, I pried up the top nine inches of soil, broke it all up, and picked out every bit of plant matter. It was a mild heartbreak to come up with five heads of red-neck Italian Garlic in the first shovelful, all of it thoroughly sprouted and going like gangbusters. We hadn't caught them in the fall. So I took the first three heads, broke them up appropriately, and planted all the stalks in the garlic bed, which I weeded thoroughly.

By then I realized I had far too much garlic for the coming season, and I stopped and started throwing them away, tossing them along with all the invasive grasses into the garbage bin. It was slow, backbreaking going, as I was breaking up all the nearly clay soil by hand. I'd lost my gloves about ten minutes into the process, as usual. I like feeling the earth with my hands, and it was important for me to get it right, to make sure it was moist enough but not soggy.

So it wasn't until dinner time that I finally stopped, and all four of the raised beds were completely clear of old plants, weeds, and very hopeful aspens. Yes, the aspen tree bed from our front yard was sending suckers into my vegetable garden! *laughs* Trees as weeds, but it made me remember that my given name means "green bough" in Greek, always new growth.

It felt really good when I was done, and the day was sweet with warmth. I got just a little sunburnt from nearly four hours out in the sunshine, but that was all part of it. *laughs*

Plus, George would have been putting his sugar snap peas in by President's Day and I always followed by putting them in by St. Patrick's as our cold is slower to leave than Seattle's. So it was nice to just dig and remember him as well as all the times he dug in our garden, whenever he'd visit in the spring to take care of Jet while John and I went to Mississippi, he'd ask if there was gardening to be done. He'd water the seedlings religiously, pick out every new weed by hand, and just go out into the garden every morning to do what needed doing and enjoy it.

I was pretty exhausted by dinner time, but it was a good exhausted, and the shower after was excellent. *laughs*

So, yeah, we're settling back in. I've read a chapter that Genevieve wrote for Winter War, and it's a good one, and Dee and I are taking a rest for a few days before tackling the last of the next short story. I have an entry I'm trying to write for a Y!Gallery contest, and we'll see how that goes.

John and I are taking walks in the sunshine, cooking for ourselves, and Jet is getting back into his school routine. I've made banana muffins and there's a key lime pie in the plans, along with the usual corned beef and cabbage for dinner on St. Patrick's. Life is starting to get stable, again, and that's good. I need to get seeds started, two pairs of socks knit up for a friend, yarn dyed for a shawlette for myself, a sweater planned, and while I haven't been sleeping all that well, I need to figure out a way just to get to bed at a decent hour. Small things, but needful, nonetheless.

The weather is heating up nicely, and soon it will be summer again.


Now I want to learn to garden myself. I had worked for a lady back when I was in my first round of college, and she had raised beds in her backyard and part of what I got to do was help her weed and collect delicious things and water. That was fun. I don't have a yard, but this new apartment has a balcony, so I'd like to get some flower boxes out there, but grow herbs in it - and I'd like to figure out how to grow sunflowers out there if it's possible. I love sunflowers.

I miss you, ducky! <3
I love sunflowers, too. They're so enthusiastic!

You could get flower boxes out there! I have a lot of fun with the vegetables and herbs. I'm not so good at growing things I can't eat, honestly.

I miss you, too!! <3 Y!'s back up!! And I'm wandering onto AIM now and again.
Can you grow sunflowers in boxes like that though? I don't have anything even remotely resembling a yard, so I have no decent place to plant things except in boxes and stuff on the balcony, and the balcony doesn't even get direct sunlight.

Wow, finally! That was wicked crazy. My internet access is few and far between these days though - no internet at the house, and what I can get is not often and short-lived. But I'll be back up and running once I get Verizon in our apartment, hopefully some time next week.

<3
Ahhhh...

It's hard to grow sunflowers without sunshine. They get too spindly and thin if they don't get enough sunshine... and in pots that tends to make them tip over, sadly.

Cool that you'll get more regular internets!! *hugs*
I don't think that I took my sweatshirt off at our house even once last summer (it's sort of the opposite of John's shorts). And here you are, in March in Colorado, attacking raspberries in a short-sleeved shirt. There's something wrong with this picture.

Beautiful colors in that kerchief!
*laughs* That is kind of wrong... Huh...

It is also kind of the opposite of John's shorts in all good ways. *laughs*

Thank you! I loved the colors.