Gardening woes.

I've been waiting...and waiting...and waiting... for the emergence of seedlings, leaves, flowers, and fruits in some cases and now I'm waiting for the tomatoes to turn color. I noticed from afar today that one or two of them started to turn orange-ish! Yay for that!

After our walk with Jackson, we went over to my little garden to check it out. And I noticed bits of brown hexagonal shaped turds.... Then I saw lots (okay, one, then I saw two, then I saw another, and another - maybe 5 total) of these "little" buggers:


A little googling turns up that they are Tomato Hornworms. Does this make me a really gardner?

Does it make me less of a science person to be simultaneously disgusted and impressed by them? Their camouflage is amazing! (also, check out What's That Bug? for more interesting caterpillars! We got rid of them all (hopefully) before I could think that I should have gotten the camera!

This site also has some interesting information - they exist in a parasitic relationship with wasps!

I had been hoping that maybe I would find out that they were




I received a great box from my one skein pal:

Thank you soooooo much! I adore the Flair pens - I use them all the time in school because the colors are great! The button assortment has now sent my button box to overflowing status! And rub-ons! I haven't seen these since I was a kid! Love them! Last, but certainly not least, the yarn! Araucania Pehuen - beautiful berries! Thank you very much!!

And then, I also received a great July Colorswap from Kim, thewoolenrabbit!
Check out the nifty purple box! Go US Post Office!

So many purple goodies - starting with Moose Smooch and a Moose magnet!

Lavender soap!


Gorgeous yarn (so soft!!) and a beautiful pattern for a lacy scarf!

Lemon Ginger tea witih the cutest heart tea strainer! Can't wait to try this!

And bath goodies!

Kim was a great swap buddy! Thank you again!


Children's Books

There have been several posts 'round the blogs about books you read when you were younger - brings back some great memories. And then this morning I started googling....I have a very dear place in my heart forever for the following:
Charlotte's Web
Made me believe that spiders are special and the the animals can talk! I read this book over and over and over and over again! Did you know there's a new movie in the works?! The trailer almost makes me teary! Julia Roberts as Charlotte is perfect!

I also read and reread the Little House on the Prairie set - my set has yellow covers, and I think there's only 7 books, not 9. Either way. I think those are the books with the pages that are so soft to the touch and yellowed.

This book, Starring Sally J. Freedman as Herself was my first introduction to World War II books. (This lead to my reading and rereading of Anne Frank: Diary of a Young Girl) I loved all the Judy Blume books I read! Need to reread them.

I also was big into Trixie Belden. Not by choice initially though. My Mom thought Nancy Drew was too advanced for me. I was always a good reader and read above level... so I read all the Trixie Belden books that the library had and then was allowed to read the Nancy Drew series.

Other fond favorites from my childhood: Bread and Jam for Frances, If you give Mouse a Cookie, Bridge to Terabithia, The Borrowers, any of the Roald Dahl books, Shel Silverstein's books, Where the Wild Things Are,Amelia Bedelia, Goodnight Moon (who didn't have this book? It's the first book I remember!), my dad used to read me stories from theBrothers Grimm. Gosh there are just so many wonderful books!

Now that I'm a teacher, I have some new favorites -
Miss Nelson is Missing (if only for the evil Miss Viola Swamp! I constantly think: Viola Swamp is not amused when the kids act up!).
I use Diary of a Worm in my science class - the kids (7th graders) really get a kick out of it! (Look, finger puppets!) And I do use Diary of a Spider as well, but prefer the worm. I am also highly amused by Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! - worth a look though - you'll be laughing very hard!!

Good site for some children's book illustrations: Kidstamps.com

(As I write this, 9 to 5 is on tv - what a great movie!)


Favorite Color Swap Questions

Favorite Color Swap Questionnaire

1. What are your top three favorite colors? Green - Blue - Purple (their order here is no indication of preference!)

2. What crafts do you really enjoy? Knitting mainly. I dabble in stickers, gardening, photography, cross-stitch, sewing and am planning to teach myself crochet.

3. What products do you really covet? I am really into neat bags and organization lately in a futile attempt to bring calm to the chaos of my craft room now that I can see it seeping to all over the house. I don't intentionally want to drive my husband crazy! If you peruse through my posts I do make mention of things I covet.

4. What other activities do you enjoy besides your favorite crafty things? spending time with my hubby, playing with my dog Jackson, gardening, reading, trying to be better about being earth-friendly, cooking

5. Is there anything you collect? I used to, but have tried to put an end to it as it got a bit out of control. Stickers are great because they don't take up much space!

6. What is your zodiac sign and/or Chinese zodiac symbol? Gemini, Year of the Horse (1978)

7.What are your favorite…

…scents/smells? citrus-y, clean cotton-y, light florals

…types of music and/or bands? that ranges quite a bit depending on my mood! The only exception would really be country, I don't listen to much of that.

…authors? I really like Laurie Notaro and Jen Weiner, Judy Blume, Agatha Christie.... I'm open

…animals? dogs, frogs, snails, owls,

…places to shop? I love Target!, amazon.com, and I love perusing etsy and handmade style webshops (like Sewingstars.com - or the stores that contribute to The Sampler)

…season? summer, fall, winter / spring - they all have their own reasons

…yarn/fabric/paper/other craft supplies? Love Noro, Koigu, Schaeffer, and have just started trying out the knitpicks line. Most crafty things I enjoy!

…candies or goodies? I have a major sweet tooth for sugar based (rather than chocolate, but there is a time for that too!) - jelly beans / mike & ikes / rock candy / spree are some of my favorites.

8. Do you have any wish lists? I do have a wishlist on amazon.com

9. Are you allergic to anything? smoke has a tendency to bother me, but it's mild

10. Do you have any pets? What are they? Jackson, a 1-yr old mini-dachshund

11. Please include anything else you would like your secret pal to know about you- anything that would be helpful in finding you little gifts that you will really enjoy. I think that you can get a pretty good idea about me through my blog, and I'm open to surprises! I love email and regular mail - look forward to hearing from you!


Books & Movies (post the 4th)

After this I'm done!
So this weekend we finally went to see Pirates: Dead Man's Chest Fun, fun, fun! I think that when it's all done it will make a great trilogy. I did like the first one better, but enjoyed the effects and antics! And it has Bill Nighy! Who I really enjoy - and he was great in Girl in the Cafe - it had some of the awkwardness of Lost in Translation, but yet it's own different turn. I enjoyed it quite a bit.

Bookwise I finished My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult - excellent! Very very heart wrenching.

Craft Room (Post the 3rd)

I've been trying to bring more order to my craft room. Why would I bother - I'm the only one in there! I want to be able to leave the door open, not to hide the chaos. Although it does help keep Jackson away from the yarns. Anyway, there is some progress being made!
(Before, view from the door)

(Before, view from the windows)

(Before, view from the closet)

I dug up a whole bunch of UFOs!

There's a clapotis, flower facecloth, cardigan, pocketbook, scarf in that pile!
And then I found stuff I couldn't recall starting! I don't know what this was supposed to be:

Somewhat of an "After" photo - the room is the ultimate work-in-progress, at least you can sit in the chair!

Jackson (Post the 2nd)

Jackson likes to hide in the laundry right out of the dryer:

Here's a close up if you can't find him - look in the lower right corner, above the green blanket:

And the pupper has a new harness, from ezydog.com - looks like a little gladiator plate:

And though I didn't get a picture of it, my dog (a mini-dachshund!!) was able to work at The General (A Starfish) for little more than 3 weeks before he got the stuffing out!! We do have a round disc as well that is also a Tuffie and I would get him more of those in the future. Still can't believe he tore it up! In the meantime, he's got a Frog Crackler that is holding his attention well enough for the time being. And a new tennis ball toy that he got as part of a swap-bot.com swap.

Now he's on his side sleeping, just like a real dog!
Still have to finish his sweater...

Gardening (Post the 1st)

I can't find the "Before" picture of my garden / raised beds... I set it up around Memorial Day this year and transplanted my seeds outside. As of this past week, this is what I can see:
The driveway curves down alongside the right of the photo, Jackson is there (not really for scale as he's so small anyway!). This is one of the beds. You can see the Kong Hybrid Sunflower and the Elf Hybrid Sunflowers.

In this next photo, you can see both beds (say if you were standing in the driveway). The bed on the left has the 2 varieties of sunflowers, baby watermelon (down low behind the kong sunflowers) and peppers (behind the sunflowers). The bed on the right has tomatoes, cucumbers, assorted butterfly / hummingbird flowers, and had carrots but I already harvested those.

Patience is difficult thing for a gardener (and a knitter sometimes) - I'm chomping at the bit for the tomatoes to turn red!!


Things I'm thinking about blogging about

* Package from a Secret Pal (my one skein pal, I think!) - photo
* Find the Dog - photo
* Craft room chaos - photo - (before & "After")
* Uncovered UFOs from Craft room chaos - photo
* The Girl in the Cafe movie
* My Sister's Keeper book
* Other crafts...
* Dachshund destructor of toys

But you know, the weather. Yesterday was too hot to do much of anything. The dog was sick last night following the extensive lightning / thunderstorm we had. In a word I'm tired. Skipped pilates class twice this week. I should have done yoga.


It's still the weekend!

Almost unbelievably - the past few days have felt like I've already been through Saturday and Sunday! Vacation is so very nice! Thursday / Friday we were in New York City to see my brother do his stand-up comedy with SuperEgo at Parkside Lounge - you can see the bit he did at his blog, here - I'm quite proud of him and though I may be biased, he brought the crowd and did the best job :) Aside from this guy Morty that rapped (5 pages worth) about proper grammar and cliches.

Today we're waiting now for friends to come over for a cookout.

I tried knitting the rpm socks (summer knitty) but apparently can't count. It just wasn't working and I could barely cast-on. Bugger.

And this weekend is supposed to be a hot one. Keep an eye on children, the elderly, and your pets!

Is your dog cool?

How funny - Sudogku!



This great package was sent to me by my Mellow SP (round 2) from the Knittyboards - there's some really pretty yarn in blues, incense, chocolate, jokes and stickers! Thank you so very much!

I finished a pair of socks in just over a week - even with the knowledge that I can devote my time to knitting, I still can't believe it! I used this pattern because I had the exact yarn and needles! And they worked out perfectly! My best socks yet!See?

Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock in Neon colorway - and I still have half a skein leftover? One skein got me through one sock completely and past the heel turn (maybe a third of the way down the foot on the second?) Jackson's impressed.

This is my new favorite photo of the little teckel:


Life's To-Do List

Borrowed from It's Rocket Science (as everyone else, the ones in bold are what I've done.)

01. Bought everyone in the bar a drink
02. Swam with wild dolphins
03. Climbed a mountain
04. Taken a Ferrari for a test drive
05. Been inside the Great Pyramid
06. Held a tarantula
07. Taken a candlelit bath with someone
08. Said 'I love you' and meant it
09. Hugged a tree
10. Bungee jumped
11. Visited Paris
12. Watched a lightning storm at sea
13. Stayed up all night long and saw the sun rise
14. Seen the Northern Lights
15. Gone to a huge sports game
16. Walked the stairs to the top of the leaning Tower of Pisa
17. Grown and eaten your own vegetables
18. Touched an iceberg
19. Slept under the stars
20. Changed a baby's diaper
21. Taken a trip in a hot air balloon
22. Watched a meteor shower
23. Gotten drunk on champagne
24. Given more than you can afford to charity
25. Looked up at the night sky through a telescope
26. Had an uncontrollable giggling fit at the worst possible moment
27. Had a food fight
28. Bet on a winning horse
29. Asked out a stranger
30. Had a snowball fight
31. Screamed as loudly as you possibly can
32. Held a lamb
33. Seen a total eclipse
34. Ridden a roller coaster
35. Hit a home run
36. Danced like a fool and not cared who was looking
37. Adopted an accent for an entire day
38. Actually felt happy about your life, even for just a moment
39. Had two hard drives for your computer
40. Visited all 10 provinces
41. Taken care of someone who was drunk
42. Had amazing friends
43. Danced with a stranger in a foreign country
44. Watched wild whales
45. Stolen a sign
46. Backpacked in Europe
47. Taken a road-trip
48. Gone rock climbing
49. Midnight walk on the beach
50. Gone sky diving
51. Visited Ireland
52. Been heartbroken longer then you were actually in love
53. In a restaurant, sat at a stranger's table and had a meal with them
54. Visited Japan
55. Milked a cow
56. Alphabetized your cds
57. Pretended to be a superhero
58. Sung karaoke
59. Lounged around in bed all day
60. Posed nude in front of strangers
61. Gone scuba diving
62. Kissed in the rain
63. Played in the mud
64. Played in the rain
65. Gone to a drive-in theater
66. Visited the Great Wall of China
67. Started a business
68. Fallen in love and not had your heart broken
69. Toured ancient sites
70. Taken a martial arts class
71. Played D&D for more than 6 hours straight
72. Gotten married
73. Been in a movie
74. Crashed a party
75. Gotten divorced
76. Gone without food for 5 days
77. Made cookies from scratch
78. Won first prize in a costume contest
79. Ridden a gondola in Venice
80. Gotten a tattoo
81. Rafted the Snake River
82. Been on television news programs as an "expert"
83. Got flowers for no reason
84. Performed on stage
85. Been to Las Vegas
86. Recorded music
87. Eaten shark
88. Had a one-night stand
89. Gone to Thailand
90. Bought a house
91. Been in a combat zone
92. Buried one of your parents
93. Been on a cruise ship
94. Spoken more than one language fluently
95. Performed in Rocky Horror.
96. Raised children.
97. Followed your favorite band/singer on tour
98. Created and named your own constellation of stars
99. Taken an exotic bicycle tour in a foreign country
100. Picked up and moved to another city to just start over
101. Walked the Golden Gate Bridge
102. Sang loudly in the car, and didn't stop when you knew someone was looking
103. Had plastic surgery
104. Survived an illness that you shouldn't have survived
105. Wrote articles for a large publication
106. Lost over 100 pounds
107. Held someone while they were having a flashback
108. Piloted an airplane
109. Petted a stingray
110. Broken someone's heart
111. Helped an animal give birth
112. Won money on a T.V. game show
113. Broken a bone
114. Gone on an African photo safari
115. Had a body part of yours below the neck pierced
116. Fired a rifle, shotgun, or pistol
117. Eaten mushrooms that were gathered in the wild
118. Ridden a horse
119. Had major surgery
120. Had a snake as a pet
121. Hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon
122. Slept for more than 30 hours over the course of 48 hours
123. Visited more foreign countries than U.S. states
124. Visited all 7 continents
125. Taken a canoe trip that lasted more than 2 days
126. Eaten kangaroo meat
127. Eaten sushi
128. Had your picture in the newspaper
129. Changed someone's mind about something you care deeply about
130. Gone back to school
131. Parasailed
132. Petted a cockroach
133. Eaten fried green tomatoes
134. Read The Iliad - and the Odyssey
135. Selected one "important" author who you missed in school, and read
136. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
137. Skipped all your school reunions
138. Communicated with someone without sharing a common spoken language
139. Been elected to public office
140. Written your own computer language
141. Thought to yourself that you're living your dream
142. Had to put someone you love into hospice care
143. Built your own PC from parts
144. Sold your own artwork to someone who didn't know you
145. Had a booth at a street fair
146: Dyed your hair
147: Been a DJ
148: Shaved your head
149: Caused a car accident
150: Saved someone's life

July 10

I've got to upload photos to show off the recent goodies from my Mellow SP from Knitty. And my garden. And the pair of socks that I finished! And Jackson, there's always Jackson. In the meantime, for anyone who reads this and needs a break:
Dog Judo


Book #1 of the summer

I'm usually much better about reading once school gets out or even those summer days start up. This summer I think I just really had to let my brain settle after the hectic school year. Today I picked up and finished: the five people you meet in heaven - loved it! So sad and sweet and just cute. Makes me think of my family members / loved ones that have passed away. For the most part I wouldn't know who they meet or get to find out about, but I do wonder if my grandfather gets to find out anything about his father, who as far as my family knows was a deadbeat lowlife.

Not enough time!

There's a new knitty is up! Wow - there's so much to choose from! Must knit Fetching, Perdita, knucks, rpm, lickety split (though I might just do a regular sock based on the colors / pattern / back buttons without the split toe thing)... I just placed an order with knitpicks (sock yarn, sport for Green Gables, sport in blues / greens / purples for a mitered square blanket)

This video (which I found via nipperknits) is so fabulous!


Remember this is for posterity

So be honest.
How do you feel?
Count Rugen

Which Princess Bride Character are You?
this quiz was made by mysti

Happy Fourth of July!

From the patriotic pup:

Though the weather has been less than wonderful for the start of summer (rainy, humid) this past week it's been quite seasonal. Jackson and I have done a lot of this:

There has been knitting! While I've been lax in my blogging participation with The Amazing Lace, I have taken photos - I fully intended on entering the challenges. Belatedly, #1: Meet the TeamMe and Schaefer Anne yarn, Hanging Vines Scarf project (inspired by Savannahchick

#2: Extreme Knitting
On the train:

and living with a yarn-loving dachshund (I swear, he's part cat, he's a nut for a ball of yarn)Sure, he looks sweet and innocent.

#3: Poetry I really don't do well with writing -
Lace, Lace, in my face
How I wish for your embrace.
Poor attention span
Leads me to say oh Damn!
The chart is off and things look wonky
I'm starting over and feel like a donkey.

True. I undid the 4 pattern repeats I had done and started over. Being lefty makes me doubt myself with charts and decreases. But I think we're doing well right now. No pictures yet, saving that for #4: Potential Uses

I finished a sock yesterday. Start to finish with that sock? 3 days!! Holy chickens! I immediately cast-on for sock #2 last night and have been working on it on and off so far today. We're having Dan's family over for a cookout so maybe I'll get some knitting in then. Photos when they are done, which if I can keep up this pace will be very soon!


July 2

I missed Canada Day - I'm an American, but that's really no excuse. Especially when my favorite music group is Barenaked Ladies - God Bless Canada for that :^) And then, I read Miss Harlot's post and was going to be nerdy and point her to Canada's Science side but saw she had 257 comments! Wow. So I'm posting it here.

I started working on a sock yesterday - Lorna's Laces yarn, an internet pattern - I had the exact yarn and needles and dove right in. I love knitting on two circulars - it really goes fast! By the time we got to Long Island yesterday, I had already completed the leg and heel flap. Today is for turning.

The Slogan Maker is fun - with the knitting keyword, it generated:
Maybe She's Born With It, Maybe It's Knitting.

And then there's always Sheep Poetry
Give Life, Donate Blood