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I'm never bored. If I'm not knitting or spinning, I'm gardening or reading. Always up to something!

Friday, September 27, 2013

Did you Imagine 8 Years Ago?

My husband and I had a nice time with my daughter and two of our grandsons yesterday


My daughter had been telling the almost four year old about looking for shells and sea glass.


We had lunch, watched  fishing boats, the seagulls and airplanes and then walked the beach.


And ran the beach and chased seagulls


Of course, a little rock-throwing was involved.  Where else can an 18 month old throw rocks?


And only on an outing with Grandma do you get to eat and ice cream as big as your head.

So this morning over coffee, my husband and I laughed about some of the antics yesterday.  The almost four year old's rendition of The Grand Old Duke of York (he has a British pre-school teacher) and his version of The Pledge of Allegiance.  How long a reach the baby has and how fast he can get to whatever he wants.  Every time we spend time with our grandchildren we're amazed at how much we love these kids and just how quickly they changed our lives.



Sunday, September 22, 2013

Figs & Lace

                                            
I fell completely in love with this shawl called Vintage Bouquet designed by Dani Sunshine. Everything about stripes combined with lace makes me happy.  So I've started my version in Madeline Tosh Merino Light in "Fig" and "Antique Lace".  When I wear it around my shoulders this winter it will remind me of today - the day I plucked the last juicy fig from my fig tree.






And said "good-by" to Summer on the first day of Autumn.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Counting my Blessings One by One

My son is a wonderful dad. Not only to his baby but to his three step children as well.  He's not even quite 30 years old but he's mature way beyond his years. He's got a good job and a home of his own. He had some tough years after his dad passed away. Those times are behind us - the seeds of love were planted deeply. I'm so proud and grateful for my son and the man he's become. 

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

The Most Beautiful Bean

Adding height to a late summer/early fall garden is easy with Hyacinth Bean vines. Think "Jack and the Bean Stalk" - yes that kind of growth!  I put two tall obelisk shaped tuteurs in a front garden bed. One got more sun than the other and achieved more magnificent growth and flowers. Neither one of them disappointed me. I can imagine that a bride planning a backyard wedding could find a sunny spot in the Spring and cover an arbor by early September with gorgeous flowers at a fraction of the cost of a florist's design. It's even possible to use the flowers and pods in bouquets with beautiful results.  Take a look at this beautiful example of a bean clad arbor  from Ivyclad.com with a link to her blog.


These are in front of my home

And so are these...


Can you tell I'm seriously in love with this beautiful bean?


This lovely bouquet with Hyacinth Bean vine is from Springwellgardens.com
A bride (or the bride's mother) can really cut costs and grow mounds of these beautiful flowers from a couple of packets of seeds.  You can find them at Renee's Garden.com.













Thursday, September 5, 2013

Zuni Shawl - No Wool Yet!

It seems like everybody who knits is ready for Autumn. Bring on the crisp days, cold nights, flannel pajamas - NOT!  I can knit cotton for months more and it won't bother me a bit. I love the change of seasons but they're spinning around much too fast for me. I just finished Zuni designed by Danielle Chalson of Makewise Designs. I think it will look nice filling in the front of a denim jacket or around the neckline of a cotton t-shirt. Though I could go for a Dunkin Donut Pumpkin Spice coffee right about now...just saying.




Monday, September 2, 2013

Blackberry Jam - Summer in a Jar

I made 4 more small jars of blackberry jam today. But this time I didn't use extra pectin from the grocery store.  I didn't care for the texture of the jam I made when I added the extra pectin. It seemed too much like cranberry jelly for my liking. I collected a basket of blackberries from my "Chester" thornless blackberry bush and added them to a batch I'd stashed in the fridge. I guess I had about 6 cups altogether. I rinsed them well several times, added an inch of water and boiled them down. Then they went through my grandmother's ancient food mill to remove the seeds.  I added two cups of sugar and a pat of butter (to keep it from foaming) and boiled it down to a nice thick syrup. After I sterilized the jars in boiling water for 10 minutes. I poured the liquid jam into a measuring cup so I had a nice spout to work with. Then I poured the jam into the jars and processed them for another fifteen minutes at a nice high boil. When they cooled I heard a nice, tinny "pink" as they sealed all nice and tight. Ready to go into a nice basket of scones at Christmas time, when my blackberry canes are heaped with icy snow. Summer in a jar!