Saturday, April 29, 2006

Two Hundred and Counting

Posts, that is. What did you think I was talking about? Wait, wait - just don't even go there.

My father-in-law's garden is proving a fertile ground (pun intended) for Project Spectrum photos. As I mentioned in an earlier post, the blooming rhododendrons and azaleas change every week, and it was just my luck that the majority of the current blooms are yellow and orange. Hmm... maybe Lolly and my father-in-law are in cahoots... My father-in-law informed me after the last batch of photos that I mis-identified some... the general rule is that small leaves = azalea, large leaves = rhododendron, despite the flower size.

An corally-peach azalea from the front yard:

A yellow azalea from the side of the house:

A gorgeous bright flame orange azalea from the back yard. This one is one of my favourites, but unfortunately it gets banged around quite a bit because it is on the corner of the back of the house near the walkway.

A delicate lemon-yellow azalea from the side of the house:

No, I'm not cheating you here - this is a different orange azalea from the picture above. It is on the opposite side of the house:

A very sunny yellow azalea with coral buds from the front yard:

Here are some non-Project Spectrum flowers (I couldn't just ignore them because they weren't yellow or orange!). This rhododendron's flowers are massive. I didn't think to put something up for scale, but this flower is about the size of a dinner plate! This flower reminds me of Hawaii - though I have never been there - the light colour in the middle and the darker pink on the outside.

This flower was in dark shade when I took the picture; I adjusted the settings for cloudiness, but the colours of the flower did not come out exactly right. They were a darker rose pink in real life. Closer to mid-May this rhododendron's neighbours will be a glorious riot of purple!

I know there has been scant knitting content here lately - and this is mostly due to the fact that the only thing I have been knitting is my sister's baby blanket for her upcoming Plus One. I'm sorry, Jaime - I love you and I will cherish Plus One... but knitting baby blankets must be the most tedious knitting project ever. I can't wait until Plus One makes his/her appearance and I can work on quickly finished baby outfits in the appropriate colours and styles! At least Satomi has told me she is having a girl and I can get started on stuff for her once I have finished the Tangerine Dream...

Thursday, April 27, 2006

SP6 Goodies, Library Update, and Gratuitous Willow (not necessarily in that order!)

I forgot to include this picture of Willow when I posted photos of my father-in-law's flower garden:

There are a couple of rocks like this in my in-laws' garden and there is an interesting story behind them. When my in-laws built their house 30+ years ago, they had a hard time digging the basement because this area is notorious for the rocks close to the surface. BIG ROCKS. These rocks had to get blasted out of the ground to dig for the basement. In any case, they kept a few of these large rocks to put in strategic places in the garden, and if you walk through their neighbourhood, you will find other such rocks... the neighbours liked my in-laws' rock garden so much they wanted some of their own! This is Willow's favourite climbing rock.

Today I received a package at work... my third and last package from my Knitty SP6 Secret Pal... who I now know is Helen from ! Helen, thank you so much for my package! This package, as well as the previous one, had been opened by Customs... we knitters are a suspicious-looking bunch, aren't we?

Let's see... leftish to rightish: beautiful sock yarn in 'Ocean' - so calm and pretty, HP Sauce, Marmite (!), 3 skeins of burgundy Rowan Ribbon Twist, a Lush bath bomb (!!!), Milk Chocolate Hobnobs (little did Helen know I have a package of these in my desk at work for my morning coffee break!), and a bar of lovely smelling soap. There was also a hilarious card of a small child in an unfortunate knitted outfit ;)

Here's a close up of the sock yarn - I love how quiet the colour changes are:

And... there was something for Willow in the package as well:

Helen, I'm sorry. Sometimes it is impossible to take a picture of a three year old. They just don't sit still. Helen sent Willow a darling little felted purse which had a small tube of lotion inside. She now thinks she is a proper lady and I am doing my best to have her *not* slather all the lotion on at once!

Library Update:

The Library Manager telephoned me yesterday and said that he had no problem at all with my knitting group having permanent digs at the library. There was no mention of the snarky librarian, but he did say he wanted to talk to me further about this when he gets back from vacation. In the meantime, we have a room and are now considered to be a library-sponsored group, which means out SnB will be on the library's website schedule! Yay!

Sunday, April 23, 2006

My Father-In-Law's Beautiful Garden

My father-in-law has an amazing garden - plain and simple. His passions are rhododendrons and azaleas with a small smidgen reserved for dogwoods. He once estimated that he had about 140 azalea bushes and 60 rhododendrons in his yard - and they all bloom at different times throughout spring and summer... and if we are lucky and have a warm spell in winter, we have a few that pop up then as well.

This is my current favourite in the backyard:

I think it would be impossible to have an all over favourite since your choices change every few weeks.

Here is a close up of one of the dogwoods:

And a magenta azalea:

Another flowering dogwood - this one in the front yard:

A mauve rhododendron in the front:

A dark rose-pink azalea in front of the bay window:

And some more flowers to add to the Project Spectrum pile:

A yellow magnolia:

We have lived in Delaware for five years now, the first three of which were in this very house... and I am a little embarassed to admit that I didn't know until today that there was a yellow magnolia in the yard!

A yellow and orange azalea:

A pink and yellow rhododendron:

Another yellow rhododendron:

A very cool coral-red and yellow rhododendron:

And this, my friends, is only the beginning of the best season for my father-in-law's garden.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Holy Nastiness, Batman!

My SnB group has been looking for regular digs to hold our weekly meetings... read the following edited letter to see what happened today:

Library Manager
B- Library

Dear Sir and/or Madam:

My Knitting Group has been holding weekly meetings every Tuesday in your
library for over a year now. We have our usual sitting areas, but with the
knowledge that these spaces are not always available when we come in. On the
advice of some of the library employees, we looked into having a regular room
set aside for us. I came in on Friday, April 21st around 4:15pm and was directed
to the reference librarian in the Children’s section. I explained what our group
wanted to do and she quickly said that we would not be allowed as we were
neither a community group nor civic association (apparently the only two groups
allowed to have scheduled meetings at the library), and beyond that, even those
groups are only allowed meeting space once a month. I understand this, and while
disappointed, would have been willing to accept that reasoning. Then the
librarian said, “And besides, this sounds like something you should be doing in
someone’s house and certainly not in the library.”

I was shocked. I know the library has had other non-community or civic
association meetings in the past. I came home and checked the library’s schedule
and found weekly Writer’s Groups meetings and monthly Book clubs. How is our
group different? Why do we not qualify as a community group? We use the
library’s reference materials constantly. We have been given permission before
to put up signs inviting new people to our group and different library employees
have told us the library is planning a regular knitting group later this year to
teach people how to knit and asked us if we would like to help. If this is the
case, I don’t understand the librarian’s condescension. I love coming to your
library, but have never felt so unwelcome or unwanted.

If we are unable to sign up for a regular meeting spot, we will
continue to meet as we have been for the last year - in whatever space we can
find. I am writing this letter because I could not let your employee’s comment
go unanswered. If you need to speak to me, I can be reached at

Oh my, was I ever pissed. This woman was so nasty. I am going to hand in this letter tomorrow morning. Sorry ladies - this seemed like such a sure thing.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Last Week's Booking Through Thursday

Booking Through Thursday

Reach out a hand, and grab the book that is closest to you. Turn to page 231, or pick a page at random if the book isn't that long. Locate the first sentence of the last paragraph on that page.

  1. Type the sentence here: "My hand," the consul said, extending his hand.

  2. Does the sentence make sense out of context? Not particularly. I can understand extending your hand, but you don't usually announce its arrival.

  3. Does reading the sentence make you want to read the rest of the book? Why or why not? Meh. Not so much. I didn't have any books near me so I walked with my eyes closed to the bookshelf and pulled out the first book I touched. It was one of Andrew's books - Philip K. Dick's "The Man in the High Castle."

What am I reading right now?

Patricia Briggs' "Moon Called"; it's a werewolf story of a sort and I am thoroughly enjoying it.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Colorswap Questionnaire for Green Month

Photo courtesy of Webshots - Prickly Pear Blossoms

Are you crafty?
Yes, but only about certain things. I like fiber crafts better than papercrafts.

Would you enjoy things like: Buttons, ribbons and embellishments?
Not especially at the moment.

Do you dye your own wool?
I have done this before and enjoyed it immensely :)

Do you like to scrapbook or make homemade cards?
No, not anymore.

What are your favorite scents?
I love scents :) Mint, lilac, apple, mandarin orange

Do you like stationary and cards?
I collect them but then forget to use them.

Do you like to sew or embroider items?
Not my thing, sorry :)

Do you like beads?
Yes! I do like to make myself bracelets, hair ornaments, etc.

What kind of candy do you like?
Milk or white Chocolate (not dark), party mints, peanut brittle, and caramels.

Do you like hand lotions or soaps?
Hand lotions - my hands are very dry and sometimes catches on the yarn.

Do you like to wear costume jewelry? Necklace, earrings, bracelets etc. ?
Bracelets , yes. I have pierced ears, but cannot remember the last time I wore earrings. Necklaces are nice, but they need to be longer -about 18".

Do you like to make/or use stitch markers?
I use them, but like the utilitarian plastic rings I have.

Do you collect anything?
I'm sure my DH would tell you I collect everything, but it just isn't so! I like coloured pens, bookmarks, and chapsticks.

Do you have any allergies?: Smoke, food, fiber, pets, etc.
I'm very allergic to smoke.

Do you have any hobbies?
Other than knitting? I love reading, baking, and playing with my daughter.

Do you like scented or unscented candles?
Scented :) Are you a fiber snob? Yes and no. I don't care to knit with 100% acrylic because it is squeaky... but I do like acrylic/wool blends like Wool Ease and Plymouth Encore. I like soft wool, and would be very interested to make something with an acrylic/rayon blend.

Do you like to play cards or board games?
Yes, I do - I'm trying to teach my daughter, too.

Do you like neon colors, pastel, light or medium ranges in the colorof the month?
My favourite greens? Lime, apple, forrest, sage... pretty much anything other than olive or kelly.

Do you like kitchen magnets or key rings?
My daughter loves all kitchen magnets - but I don't have much need for key rings.

Do you like picture frames?
Not much use for them...

What else can I add? I like spice mixes, regional foods, coffee, and hairclips/hair bands.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Happy Easter!

Whew... it's only 5:19pm here in JoLand and I am ready to go to sleep...

Willow woke up a little before 6am this morning, crawled into bed with us and sniffled as if she were crying. Andrew asked her what was wrong and she whispered, "The Easter Bunny didn't come..." Uh, Willow? Go take another look in your room! So, she came back with this:

A Dora The Explorer book, the requisite chocolate bunny, a foam picture frame craft set, mini hairclips, a egg whistle, Peeps, a Cadbury egg, and assorted jelly beans and chocolate eggs. Someone told me recently that Peeps are made near here... however, I have lived here for five years now and have never tasted one. I honestly don't even know if they are sold in Canada.

The next two pictures are out of synch - I tried keeping these in order, but it's a tall task when you have a picture heavy post. We broke Lent by having pancakes for breakfast at a local diner, and after breakfast we went to an amazingly empty park so Willow could play (oh yeah - it was only about 7:45am at this point...) This isn't the best photo technically, but I love the expression on her face:

Here is a picture of Andrew and Willow in the diner. I am seeing more and more of a resemblance between those two...

After playing in the park and going for a long walk, we returned home to dress for the Easter service (sorry, no sunrise service here, Auntie Daryth!) and Easter Egg Hunt. Andrew's mom made Willow's Easter dress this year, and Willow enjoyed being decked out like a girl for a change.

We had to leave the chapel half way through the service - there were just so many people and Willow was getting very antsy - I let her dance when everyone was singing - but she wanted to talk (in a loud voice) while the sermon was going on... so we escaped and Willow claimed some Easter flowers as her personal castle:

After the service there was an Easter Egg Hunt, and it was lots of fun despite the older boys who attempted to abscond with a stash of eggs before the little kids even got their chance... and they know who they are (imagine me giving them the evil eye here...)

Project Spectrum photo op - she has an orange egg!

And some of the yellow daffodils and tulips and just-starting-to-bloom dogwoods in the backyard:

And lastly, since we haven't done this in a long while, Andrew's dad took a picture of us in front of some azaleas-to-be:

I had my hair dyed back to my original colour on Thursday... I had honestly forgotten it was this dark. I haven't recognized myself the last few days when I first wake up and look at myself in the mirror...

Happy Easter Everyone!

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Woo-hoo! Colorswap Package Arrived!

Tami ( of )- Thank You!

My Project Spectrum Colorswap package was waiting for me when I picked up my sick daughter from my in-laws' house today! Inside the box was this gorgeous hand-made tote bag (with a matching zipper bag inside:

How did you know I was looking for a neat bag to put my knitting project in? Of course, it currently matches my project - people are really going to think I like the color orange :)

Inside were 5 skeins of Sinfonia (a DK weight mercerized cotton) in a bright orange/red/yellow colorway, and 3 balls of Sugar'n'Cream Cotton (destined right now I think to be a tank top for Willow):

When I started pulling things out of the bag, Willow decided that she was getting in on this action and she came out with a bunny handbag, a fuzzy little change purse and this little metal bucket. The bunny and change purse I understand - what little girl wouldn't want that? I'm a little mystified by her wanting the bucket, though:

And lastly... the whole packaged was cushioned by orange and yellow streamer paper which Willow fell head over heels in love with... as evidenced by this picture of her burying herself in it...

Oh well. It makes for a cute picture. Tami - once again, thank you so much - I love your interpretation of the orange and yellow theme.

And Lolly, if you are reading, thank you for thinking Project Spectrum up - I'm having a great time with this - and I find myself looking around me wherever I go for whatever color is up that month.

Lynne - thank you for organizing this swap - I can't wait for green!

Tuesday, April 11, 2006


Okay, I've decided that I did my duty by Lent... I did my 40 (well, 41 actually) days - just a little faster than everyone else. And my brain is too tired to come up with anything new right now...

Monday, April 10, 2006

Extra #1

Day 40 +1: Today in 1925 The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald is first published.

Personally, I have not finished reading this book, but since it is one of my husband's favourite books, I suppose it is worth mentioning ;) (Fact courtesy of Wikipedia... I *lurve* Wikipedia!)

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Not quite done with you yet

Apparently I miscalculated... I didn't understand that Lent encompassed only Monday - Saturday and that Sundays weren't counted as part of the forty days... and people can't seem to agree as to whether Lent ends on Thursday or Saturday, so I still have another week's worth of facts to come up with. That being said,

Day 40: The etymology of the word Lent comes from the Middle English lenten or lente, meaning 'spring', and before that from the Old English lencten, meaning 'lengthen' from the days getting longer.

Project Spectrum picture! I believe these are primulas, but they were the only bits of yellow in the backyard that I hadn't already taken pictures of.

While driving around today I saw plenty of yellow sports cars. Gawdawful goldenrod yellow. I'm not sure what is up with that, but I didn't take any pictures because I think people would take offense at some random stranger taking pictures of their vehicle...

Another rhododendron blooming in the backyard. Can someone tell me why my pictures always look over-bright? What setting do I need to change?

And a weird picture of me. I was standing in the exact same spot as where I had taken the above purple flower shot - and I caught sight of my shadow to the left. Yes, those are my hips...

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Venus de Milo, Blow Out Denial...

(photo courtesy of Webshots)

Day 39: Today in 1820 the Venus de Milo statute was discovered on the Aegean island of Melos.

The taxes are done, the mortgage application is 98% done (just some finally penning in and copying needed), and my brain is so tired... more househunting tomorrow. A few days ago I had a dream that we were living in a bungalow-type house that had a short stone wall - maybe 3.5 feet tall - around the yard instead of a fence. I'm not sure if this is something we have seen in our hunting and I have incorporated it into my wish-home... but it sure was pretty.

Okay, who can guess where the title for this entry comes from?

SP6 - Thank you for the CD - I had great fun listening to it at work on Friday. I kept giggling to the lyrics in the 'bring out the freaks' song. It was a great variety of songs and I'm looking forward to listening to it again.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Ben messed around with a lot of stuff...

Day 38: Benjamin Franklin created a phonetic alphabet as a proposal for spelling reform in the English language.

There is a Benjamin Franklin exhibit at the National Constitution Center in nearby Philadelphia that I really would like to see before it moves onto its next museum destination. I always seem to just miss these things. There was a Nicholas and Alexandra (the Romanovs) exhibit here a few years ago and I really regret missing that one. Apparently the items on display were so incredibly expensive that the tour didn't even announce or advertise where its next stop would be to avoid potential planned thefts.

No knitting tonight - sorry, Jaime. I am so warped right now on mortgage applications, state tax forms, and some not-terribly tasty wine. And Teri, Andrew and I split the last Coffee Crisp bar tonight...


My pirate name is:

Captain Jenny Bonney

Even though there's no legal rank on a pirate ship, everyone recognizes you're the one in charge. You can be a little bit unpredictable, but a pirate's life is far from full of certainties, so that fits in pretty well. Arr!

Get your own pirate name from

The fact of the day will come a bit later tonight...

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Where the Wind Blows

Apparently this needs clarification...

Day 37: The only winds stronger than the winds of an F5 tornado is the shock wave from an atomic bomb.

Don't really feel like experiencing any of these...

I mailed off my Project Spectrum package this morning, and have Cristi's nearly finished - Cristi - I need to ask you a question first! And for my still-anonymous upstream SP, I am bringing your CD to work with me tomorrow to listen to it! Sorry I haven't done this sooner, but I've been neckdeep in projects.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Isn't She Beautiful?

Here is a picture of my sister, Jaime. Jaime and Chris are expecting their first child at the end of May and I think she looks absolutely beautiful in this picture. She has a cute belly - as cute as Willow came out to be on the outside, she never looked this cute on me when she was on the inside!

Some Project Spectrum pictures - I couldn't find anything orange, so these are all yellow things I found in my in-laws' yard. Here is the goldenrod that the bees love to buzz in:

I tried to take a picture of the bees, but the little buggers wouldn't stay still!

Here are some of the daffodils:

We are lucky these are still standing! The weirdest weather system came through this morning and we had raging blizzard-like snow and lightning then bright sun - and this went back and forth 4 or 5 times... and when I got off work you would never have guessed - it was 50'F and sunny!

Here is an early yellow azalea:

And now for some non-yellow/orange things...

More asparagus! Many people had emailed me when I posted the first picture of the aspargus bud about a week ago, saying they had no idea that was how asparagus grew. Well, more stalks have come up and here is a better picture of what aspargus looks like just before you snip it. And let me tell you, freshly steamed aspargus from the garden is *heavenly*!

And another treat - an early purple rhododendron:

Day 36: Today in 1614 - Native American Pocahontas married English colonist John Rolfe. (courtesy of Wikipedia)

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

It's all in the timing...

Day 35: At some point early tomorrow the time will be 01:02:03:04:05:06. Get it? 1:02:03am on April 5th, 2006.

No, I will not be staying up to watch this...

I've almost finished putting together my Orange and Yellow Colorswap package - I hope to get it in the mail tomorrow, and I have one or two small things to still get for Cristi's last So-Called Secret Pal package ;) Whew!

Monday, April 03, 2006

April is Panda Month!

Day 34: April is National Panda Month at the National Zoo. Check out some information at .

Here are some Project Spectrum pictures for you - I had seen some people do this last month for red and pink. I have to say, though - it grates against everything inside me to group books together by colour. Not that my books are organized much right now other than Willow's books on the lowest shelf, and knitting books in the same bookcase as my erstwhile yarn...

And here is Willow's contribution to the yellow and orange theme:

And my addictive snack du jour:

And don't look, Jaime! This is my baby present for my little sister's Plus One. Jaime and Chris decided to not find out the baby's gender (how are we avid knitters supposed to make anything?!!?!), so the baby's first present from me will be a sunny orange colour.