Archive | July 2017

Crocheting in Summer

In January, I made a list of New Year’s resolutions. I figured that if I made a bunch of resolutions, I wouldn’t be disappointed if I only completed some of them. One of those resolutions was to crochet a blanket.

I started knitting a few years ago. I really enjoyed making something from a ball of yarn, but it takes forever for me. I am not a fast knitter. My husband and my mom kept telling me to try crochet, but I was determined to knit. I finally decided to try crochet after seeing how quickly a friend of mine made blankets. She had even less free time than I did, but somehow she still managed to make a blanket.

This year, I started to crochet. It is so much faster than knitting for me. I had to admit to my husband and my mother that they were right. I really enjoy crocheting and I keep finding new patterns I want to try. I am determined to finish at least one blanket by the end of the year and I’m currently working on two blankets. The first is being made from blue and white granny squares. The second is being made with the basket weave stitch and brightly colored yarn. For the second blanket, I’m using Caron Cakes in the funfetti color. I couldn’t resist.

Both of them look wonderful so far and both of them are unfinished. So, I am crocheting in the middle of the summer. There are days when it’s ridiculously hot outside and I’m hiding in my air conditioned house under a blanket as I crochet row after row. The blue and white blanket isn’t an issue. I’m not done making the granny squares yet and they don’t really cover anything. I don’t think I’ll be ready to join them until autumn and it will likely be cool again by then. I feel ridiculous when I’m working on the funfetti blanket.

Sitting in front on the air conditioner in the middle of summer under a blanket.

Everlasting Flowers

My struggles with gardening continue.

The marigolds in my window flower boxes are not doing well. This is entirely my fault because I forget to water them. I also don’t remember to snip and remove the old blossoms. Flowers are too quiet.

When my cats want something, they meow at me. Babies cry and dogs bark. Flowers are quiet. They don’t tell you that there isn’t enough rain or that there is too much sun. They may change colors or try to let you know in subtle ways. But, I completely miss those signs and then it’s too late.

When I first started planting flowers in the window boxes, my mom suggested using artificial plants. She meant the type that you can buy at the craft store. I thought her idea was ridiculous. I wanted beautiful and real flowers. Year after year, I’ve tried and tried. I can’t remember to water them often enough.

Now, I think my mom might be right. I even told her she was right. I figured that moms like to hear that type of thing. Next year, I might use artificial flowers in the window boxes. I’m already excited about the possibilities. Buying craft flowers will let me use plants that could never grow in my climate. I could also have seasonal plants. At first, I thought using craft flowers would be too expensive. My husband was actually the one who mentioned the costs associated with real flowers. When I really thought about it, I realized it wouldn’t be too different. I plan to keep and wash and reuse the craft flowers and I won’t have to replace them in July because some of them died.

I haven’t really decided yet. Some of my marigolds are dying, even the ones I’ve replaced. It’s been really hot and dry in our area for the past week or so. It’s even more frustrating since our spring was never ending rain. I might start my experiment in the autumn. I’ve always wanted a vibrant fall display, but we just don’t have that type of selection around here. Using craft flowers could be the way for me to have an explosion of color, right outside my windows.

More Gardening Adventures

My adventures in gardening continue!

Most of my plants look wonderful. Even the weeds look healthy and green. I have a few areas where I focus my gardening energy. I know that if I attempted to deal with my entire yard, I’d be overwhelmed. I have two rectangular raised beds, one area near the house shaped like a triangle, and the other side of the house where I planted the roses.

Two of the three roses seem to be doing well. The third was planted too late, I believe, and I may need to replace it next year. I am planning to buy a trellis for them since they’re all climbing roses. I’d love to believe that they’ll look spectacular in a few years. My more realistic side tells me that I’ll likely have to replace them and fight with them for years. I read about caring for roses for years before I planted these, but I know dealing with them is completely different.

The triangle near my house is a raised bed that was built before my husband and I bought the house. It was the first area where I tried gardening. Right now, it holds mostly daffodils. It’s near the driveway and I love seeing all the daffodils early in the spring whenever I leave the house or return home. I also planted strawberries there. The triangle only receives partial shade, so I’m planning to move the strawberries this season. I think that I’ll plant mint in the triangle. I love that the mint is almost always lush and green and it’s apparently hard to kill. I haven’t touched my pepperspear at all and it’s one of the healthiest looking plants in my entire yard.

The raised beds look wonderful. The weeds in them look wonderful, too, despite my attempts to keep them under control. It makes me laugh when I see them, because the soil we bought for the raised beds is helping my tomatoes and the weeds grow. All of my herbs are doing well. My parsley is basically the size of a small bush. I haven’t even started eating them all, yet. I just love sticking my face in all the plants because it smells like an Italian food restaurant.

I forgot to use cages for the tomatoes again. This happened a few years ago. I don’t always put the cages on them right away, because the plants are so small. I always plan to do it another day. Then, POOF, the tomato plants are huge. I’m afraid of snapping the stems, so I let them do what they want. I call them tomato weeds. The year I had the most and best tomatoes was the first year of the tomato weeds. I’m hopeful for this year’s tomato weeds, too.

Fireworks

I have mixed feelings about fireworks.

Fireworks are loud and annoying. They scare my cats and just about every other pet that I know. The people in the neighborhood set them off at random times so it’s intermittently noisy for hours each night and for several days surrounding any holiday. They used to be illegal in my area, but people used them anyway. Now that they are legal, it’s noisier more often. I prefer them being legal because it didn’t stop anyone anyway.

My mother loves watching fireworks when they’re done professionally. I hate the crowds that they cause. It’s so difficult to find somewhere to watch them. When you do, you have to arrive ridiculously early to save a space. Then, when they’re over, it takes forever to leave because of all the people. Even the longest fireworks displays I’ve seen are only about 45 minutes. I’ve been in Washington, D.C. for the 4th of July, too.

Despite all of the irritation, there are times when I love fireworks. I appreciate the beauty of them and that they’re so fleeting. I love that the dark sky sparkles for an instant and is then dark again. My favorite way to see fireworks is when it’s an accident. If I’m in the house, I can occasionally see the fireworks from the neighbors down the street. When I stop at the lake nearby after dark, I can watch people light fireworks from several different areas. In Disney World, I was able to see some of the fireworks display from the hotel, letting me avoid all the crowds.

So, I have mixed feelings about fireworks. I feel bad for the pets that are scared and I don’t like the crowds they cause. I do love watching them and seeing the night sparkle with a loud BANG. Because of this, my favorite way to watch them is still to peek out my window near the holidays or to watch them while I drink my coffee by the lake.

Writing Topics

Sometimes, I want to write, but I don’t know what to write about. More often, though, I don’t know whether or not to write about something here, to write about it somewhere else, or to keep it for myself. There are so many ways and places to write and it’s hard to determine whether or not to share it. Some topics, like Christmas and gardening, are easy to share with other people. Other topics are more personal.

I write in so many forms. Like my collection of letters and cards, I have a collection of journals. Each journal tends to be a different topic. It’s taken me years to realize that’s my favorite way to categorize my thoughts. In additional to my journals, I write here and a few other places. Each place has its own personality and style of writing. This tends to be the place where I ramble the most. But, it’s also a place where I don’t mind others reading what I’ve written since it’s meant to be anonymous. I understand that it’s the internet, so anything that is truly and deeply personal is written on the pages of a journal that stays safe with me.

Today, I organized a list of potential writing topics. Some were amusing, some were thoughtful, and some were discarded since they didn’t appeal to me. As I write my way through the list, I’ll decide whether to post them here or somewhere else. My favorites I might keep to myself.