Tiny Ways that Speak Loudly

When the great Pines fell to tiny insects that laughed at their great size, we took the dead trees down. This left areas that my neighbors once enjoyed, very drab.

This year I was determined to make a tiny difference in their view. Then my neighbor got ill and it seemed even more important. She is well after a surgery during COVID. And this is her little garden that I hope she can enjoy from her patio and kitchen:

It includes tall grasses, echinacea and finally, cosmos that is blooming! I babied that cosmos. I covered it as seedlings. I ‘ve watered and watered and now, finally it is beginning to bloom .

I added the little flag with the old truck on it, as it was left in our crawlspace and my neighbor sells old cars.

So while I can barely see the garden through our growing replacement pines, I do go over and look at it daily from her side and I tend to it.

I have begun my second market bag. This bag is getting 100% of my attention this afternoon. Well, that is with my Cubbies playing in the background. This one is twice the cast on number of the last one, and I think it will be great. So that’s a tiny plan and it better be a good one.

When the cosmos begin to bloom, they are like magic in a shaken globe. They changed daily and they go on and on. 99 cents folks. 99cents for a packet.

Oh speaking of seeds, I have a new catalogue that P . Allen Smith was informing us of: Gilbert H. Wild and Sons. They have many cool cool peonies and other gorgeous plants like lilies, if you wish. Tiny fun….that I usually don’t do until Winter.

A bottle of red and a bottle of white ………our little Billy Joel song come to life on the deck. We had a couple over that is dear to us. Social distanced, Masked. Used our own utensils etc. It was do able! Their daughter was born with part of an arm. She is so beautiful. It is amazing to hear the things people say to her! Some bartend asked if he could take a photo with her. She asked why? She is just beautiful.

He said, Because you only have one arm. The owner overheard him, fired him on the spot and gave her a round of drinks. She’s 30. This has happened her whole life. Her parents raised her to be anything she wishes. But , someone needs to have raised a man that will never notice her birth defect. I think he’s out there.

My prickly pear cactus are in the ground. I want them to take. They were free from my goat neighbor. She really appreciated the clover. She left me a text saying she will be out but I can give her goats more clover anytime and drive right up to the fence. I will make fireman do the driving as You know I can get that truck stuck just looking at it!

Finally, the very small fun we had yesterday was with Al’s boyfriend Will. He works for the Oklahoma City Thunder Basketball team and was told part of his job now is to be the pretend fan in a crowd. He’s there smack in the middles wearing his orange THUNDER shirt. We watched and watched for him on Television, but something was amiss in the control room. We are calling him famous anyhow. Just a tiny bit famous…but still

Hope you can catch the splashdown today of the astronauts. I have tiny cool memories of the capsules that are at the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry! Campers are scheduled to watch the event. But first, we ride our bicycles….

Cutest little Summer Bag

Well , I admit it looks like a hat, but it is a bag. I have to knit the cord handles and attach them. This is a darling , easy , light and breezy bAG.

I used the Market Bag free pattern by TiaMakes . Perfectly simple instructions. Knitted in : Cairn Queensland yarn in Color 33 Redland City . A cotton blend.

I will show you the finished bag as soon as those handles are on.

Then I plan to make a big big Market bag . I enjoyed this one from cast on to cast off.

Now for a a little story on a Friday:

*I tipped off the paddle board today. I was fine. I had my life jacket on, of course. Someone, sadly, died on the lake this weekend. So the minute my head came up out of the clear warm water, someone on a boat yelled, “Do you need help?”

I had my mask on. I said, no, I’m with him. Fireman came over and held the board. IT is difficult to get back on if you are wearing a life jacket. You have to kick kick kick and slide across the board without tipping over on yourself. Which I did once. But the next time, Fireman was holding the board and it was still a challenge but I got on. I waved to the boat. Also, the police had a boat on the lake not too far from us. And my life jacket has a whistle so , If I needed to use it , I sure would have.

So , Fireman said no one could have made out what I responded to the kind boater, because my mask was on. He said it sounded like Wah wha Wah Wah wah wah. So I have to tell you that one of the main reasons I wear a mask paddle boarding, is that I hate sunscreen. It gets in my eyes and wearing a mask is a better barrier from the suns rays anyhow.

Next time I tip, I will pull my mask down. There was no panic because the paddle board is just going to float. We would never go out in rough winds and waves. You can just pretend your paddle board is a kick board. Your paddle board floats, it doesnt sink.

The only reason I tipped, was that I was far far back on the board, so I could turn it very easily. Well, you really shouldn’t be that far back. You should be more middle. Anyhow. That was my first time in the water this year. I have dangled my legs off the board, but not fallen in.

All’s well! My left shoulder is sore from reaching to the other side of the board, but I’ll put some bengay on it.

My fingers are better after the typing rest this week and taping them together at night.

How are you? Any tales to tell?

Let your fingers do the walking….

Dear Finger,

You aren’t supposed to be in the photo. You are not even green.. You are not a thumb. Oh well. Good thing we are not about perfection here. I had to cover my yellow squash blossoms with medical tape yesterday. Some darn cut worm is slicing them right off. I am having enough issues with timing and harvesting , and those evil worms will not defeat me.

So far we have harvested 7 green beans and three cherry tomatoes. Not enough to donate. But I have high hopes for the zucchini and the cucumbers and big tomatoes. Oh, seven green beans and 3 tomatoes: that ‘ll be , oh just forget they are free!

Dear Blog Pal, I would like to tell all that the silly fishbowl lens was a gift a few years back from Fireman. It slips over your cell phone lens. It is not helpful if you have a heavy cover on your phone. The one I have goes for twenty bucks..(olloclip is the name) Just Look up i -phone fish eye lens. I would bet they make one for android too. Because It is COVID, ok? And we need to expand our photographic fun!

Dear TeoMakes, I am in love with your Market Bag pattern. I am in love with my yarn. Cairns Colorful Cotton Acrylic. Love love love. I have a vision of making a much bigger one, but altering your pattern. Normally, don’t dream of changing a pattern, but you made a great pattern and I am a better knitter now than years ago. I better check out your other patterns. Cause…you are GOOD lady!

Dear Night Pollinator,

I did not kill you. You are outside and have never gotten to my stash. That’s because I am clever and well schooled by my mentors and you won’t be able to get to my yarn even , IF you got in.

Of course, If you came in you stand NO chance with my four cats on patrol. You are important , I have read, because you too are a pollinator. And some of us do our best work at night. So I hope you went off like a silly teenager and danced around blooms in the night. I for one played a practical joke on my kids last night in the dark.

Dear everyone who has answered the phone when I call to remind you that voting by mail is an option. You all are so kind and so kindred too. There’s so much at stake, and as a 78 year voter told me yesterday,
“Honey you are preaching to the choir.. I’m having my daughter over to witness my signature tomorrow and then I’m sending it in! ”

Dear Kathy B:
Make more phone calls. There was perhaps a reason while I broke my tail bone in the winter at the barn . I was afraid to return. The only thing I can hurt doing campaign calls, is a finger…….and

Blog pals: that is where we started today!

Topsy Turvey Tuesday

I got a little wild, and put my fish eye lens on my iPhone. Here are the big volunteer sunflowers. Gosh they knew just where to put themselves to succeed. How about that . Behind them are the cosmos I seeded late but they are blooming now.

Add do enjoy my blurry zinnias.

So today, I read my favorite blogs. YOURS . I am working hard to improve an issue with my left hand’s fingers. So I am commenting on your blogs right here. It is backwards, I know.

Here we go anyhow:

Mildy Granola, has a fabulous Northeast blanket going on. It is a few posts back from her incredible spider sweater post. But she may motivate me enough to make one.

Bonnie and Honore are working on a one word prompt for their mind calming workouts. Bonnie is all about Focus. And She has me wanting to order a book : 12 Moons of the Year.

Honore has her word too and she shares so much in her journaling with us. Honore you know I never remember my word. So I give it a word a day: todAy ‘s word : observe. Mainly , observe Beatles. His weight is down and he’s not himself. I tend to jump into the car, to the vet, but during COVID, not so much.

Kat always has a plethora of things you can spin off from any post. I went down the SeaTime lapse rabbit hole. It is amazing.

Headknits has me wanting to knit the Willow Cowl with the recent sock yarns that aggravated me this weekend Maybe that yarn wants to be one of her amazing Willow Cowls??

Amanda’s Crafty in the Med colorful sun catcher is so cute. GO see!

Jo found just the right rose to remember her mom by; Sheila’s perfume. IT is stunning. I bet it has a soft scent that wafts through the air.

TeresA Kas. has her hair up in a tiny pony tail and it is too cute. Her garden photos are a daily joy for me .

Fabric Paper Thread has a climbing trellis that is huge, for squash. Which reminds me, I have to go out and make collars for my squash because a nasty something is cutting my blossoms off!

Kim has had a tough week. Tears funerals, and closed caskets. She could use a hug.

Ariagnee Deb is making adorable Fishmascards. We know how creative you are Deb. But these santa capped fish are so funny!

Vera is going to cast on some fingerless with gorgeous yarn she spun.

Sprite I need your homemade ice cream recipe ASAP please

Val is offering her gorgeous cat quilt as a fundraiser. I’m headed over to by me some tickets!

Kim from the coast has sand dollars she collected in perfect condition! And an Agate that looks like a bug has been preserved in time.

East Side cats has a new free puzzle for us. I love her tuesdAY TWO CATS , because Chili Bruce is my fAVorite cat of hers. And Chili is featured!

A very Happy Birthday to WYOMING BREEZES NANCY. Your work for quilts for veterans makes you such a star in a dark night Nancy.

Jeannie Grey has stitched her lil summer chair and it is so sweet.

You know Ive forgotten someone special . Tell me, please. Nothing intentional.

Camper is awaiting my post publish so we can call our friend together and zoom.

Hugs. My finger is improving by limiting it from bending.

One last thing: meteor shower on it s way!

Arrangements

I won this book and it arrived this weekend. I think I already like the way the writer writes. I’ll let you know what I think as I read just a bit a day. There are some religious writers that get their message across to me, and nail it every time. (jen Hatmaker). Others , I know immediately are not going to move me. Thank you Betsy for the contest! I have re arranged my book plans. Amen!

My desert bloom is in bloom! Fireman just loves these blossoms. I have had this plant in Chicago and Now Wisconsin and it never fails to go quietly into the dark basement all the long winter and I ignore it. I don’t water it. I ignore it. And it comes roaring back each summer. Somehow it is happy with this arrangement.

Now I shall tell you what was not happy with the arrangements this weekend. Those pink socks misbehaved and by Sunday……I finally got the message. It isn’t wanting to be sock. So Step aside, and I’m happily knitting a tiny bag. On big old needles.

I am very happy Baseball is back although we do NOT like the RIckett’s Marquee network which makes it literally impossible for Cubs fans outside their zip code to buy. This is possibly the stupidest arrangement the Cubs fans have ever had to put up with. We have put up with a lot. Thank God for Radio.

This is the arrangement from my gardens, that I gave to our friends as we social distance met Friday in their yard. Masks on: check…..No hugs….check…..DIdnt even go into their home to go potty….check… Jody, loved her flowers. 🙂

Also, I am rearranging how I will be in touch this week . I have to give some of my fingers a rest. More later. . I will be reading your blogs but not leaving each blog a comment. Just for this week. Can we live with this arrangement?

Camp Continued This Week

Hello Mudder, Hello Fadder,

Here I am in, Camp Granada.

Yesterday’s camp activities included chasing down hot air balloons, because the Camper could see 3 from the picture window. The counselor only allowed this from the air conditioned Truck while he drove, she knitted and they both listened to the CUBS Game.

They are much prettier landing a field but, this counselor is no Balloon expert and enjoyed the landings shows in two different lots , anyhow. It has been windy , in a word, this summer so Last night was little to no winds and these Balloons have to make their money in a short season. There’s No Place Like Home, though, Mudder and Fadder.

My friend Maribeth sent me her camping photo. Is that not just beautiful. ? She could get a badge here at camp for this one.

Now that the Sprint of a Season for Baseball has begun, the counselor is very very happy. Today’s activities include a short fast paddle before the speedboats take over our 8 mile long Lake. Also, there will be mini cake baking.

The counselor is very happy that camp offers a radar alarm for cyclists who are cycling alone. It alerts, by magic, the rider when a car is approaching from a long, windy country road so the cyclist can stay out of the car’s way. 🙂 Our motto here at camp: Be nice to cyclists, someone loves them very much.

Happy Saturday. Oh, and I’m not entirely thrilled with my new sock. So it will be interesting to see if I continue with it today, or start a Market Square Bag by Anhalt which I am dying to make.

When The Baby Blanket Arrives

Allison finally got to give her pal with a new baby, the pocket blanket I made this Spring. That thing hanging off the bottom is just how I tied the blanket. It is not attaached. I went full freak out when I saw it. Then Al told me,:Mom, you used that yarn string to wrap the blanket in an roll, silly.

Oh yeah. Never mind.

Bo is a climber. She goes from floor to ceiling like a SpiderWoman. She’s 100% delightful and keeps Zach on his toes. Apparently , she wakes him up one minute before his early a.m. alarm rings off. Oh, and she still fetches. Oh and she’s so cute. When Zach leaves to play tennis, he often comes home to her sleeping under his sheets. Oh and he taught her not to bite, so now she does a fake softy bite when she just has to!!! I’m still smitten.

If you enjoy EastSide Cats’ blog, then this may remind you of her Two Fur Tuesday posts. She has this cat Named CHILI BRUCE and it is one of my favorite cat names ever. So her two black cats usually take the stage on Tuesday. My two black cats do not spoon or sleep entwined ever. But, here they are on the same porch chair and that’s as close as I can get. My cats adore the porch as I Do!!!

My neighbor and artist, Danielle, has not only goats, but chickens , too. Isn’t this one pretty? I started out COVID isolation thinking I would have to foster kittens, or raise chickens or something because there would be no Barn fun . Well, after catching and keeping two lil frogs this week, I’m pretty sure I dont want anything that requires work. It was not easy to be out trying to catch insects. And I did try. ! Al’s friend Kristen is fostering a cat with heart disease –

Meet Miles. What a wonderful thing to do. Covid seems to have brought animal lovers even more in love with their animals. Covid seems to also have brought on more great fosters. Thinking of Sea Shells and her new dog foster!!!

Gotta go. Happy FRIDAY AND THE CUBS START PLAYING TONIGHT. REALLY! Im SO giddy about this!

Late Post Today, Ten Things

  1. Old Daylilies are still showing well every summer. Who knows WHEN they planted these lovelies. I continue to feed them Miracle Grow. We have them gracing the entry way to the drive way , on both sides. The thrive on neglect there.

Well, you know that each and every Echinacea is from Regina’s seeds . We planted them 2 years ago. Last year they did not bloom. This year they are spectacular and they attract 3 kinds of butterflies: Monarchs, which make me think of Zach and Mexico with Each and Every one that I see. Then there are Yellow butterlies with that black outline and bright blue at the bottom, love them too. FInally, there is a blue butterfly, that is also fond of these. I had NO idea that besides being lovely , they would attract butterflies like nothing I have ever planted.

In our Illinois yard we purposely planted Joe PYE weed, like they do at the Chicago Botanic Gardens to attract butterflies. We never saw a butterfly come by. Not one. So thank you again Regina!

Ladybird was here when we arrived the day we bought the house. Well, her right hand and plate broke off last week. She has a history at a family gravesite, but people began to take piece of her after a book was written with her on the cover. Fireman wants to fix her, so be my guest.

He also likes the little sunflowers I grew from bird seed. Today’s camp acitivity was screen repairs, and Fireman taught me that you really can start a fire with a magnifying glass and the sun.

I figured we are always watching these Survivor Wildnerness shows, and I never got to be a Girl Scout, so he better show me. Turns out there is a bit of a knack to it. You have to have the part that is magnified, be pinpoint on your kindling to get a quick smoke and flame to start. But, then it really is a breeze. I dont’ want to be tested , but it made for a fun video to send Karen and my kids. Karen and Fireman Love SURVIVOR…….still……. after all these years. (Not me: Jeff Probst makes me nuts.)

So LadyBird was thing 3, and making fire was Thing 4. and the birdseed flowers are 5.

My second cosmos flower of the year! The ones I planted for my neighbor, on the side of the house, were planted before these were, and they havent bloomed yet. But they are close. Very close. (thing 6)

I read a recipe for making slush. Watermelon Slush. IT was so easy and delish. Since we are not going to our old Ice Cream place with COVID hanging out all summer, and I love Slush, I will be making it again. Basically sugar and watermelon, in the freezer. Every so often you take a fork and pull it from the sides of the dish as it crystalizes. (thing 7)

I’ve been using zach’s stabilizer which is a kind of small tri pod to take better shots. I’m so shakey. This is somewhat less than the sky’s true color at sunset the other night. The pinks were far more impressive with my own eyes. Do you have this issue when you photograph skies? (Thing 8)

The Golf Course down the road is busy busy busy. People play until the last light of the day is the only light left. This is good for the course, and the players and the owners and the charities that hold their events there. The Barn will be holding their Golf Outing in September if things go as they plan. I miss the Barn. (Thing 9)

There will be knitting in my next post! I promise. (thing 10 ) I’m playing with a couple of sock yarns in the pink/berry family.. So far the raspberry does not have much give to it. It is a bit splitty. Guess I can switch soon to the leg part and change yarns. I was informed in an email that the Chicago yarn Crawl is this weekend. You can crawl in person or on line. THere is a class SUnday night that interests me a bit, at one shop. Do you virtual crawl?

Too Much Frogging Going on

There was just to much TomFoolery going on here with the frogs the last few days. Lori Lightfoot Froggy and Leo, a smaller green frog , had ample opportunity to eat a firefly . That’s all I asked. I wanted to show my friend’s grandkids how the frog will eat the firefly and then its body will literally blink inside the frog.

Well, they were having none of it. So I took a little movie of my setting them free, for Jillian and JJ. Darned if I wasn’t punchy , and I had not even had a drink, but it was so funny. Lori Lightfood, would not leave until I pushed her out. Then she hopped right back to the screen door , THREE TIMES, as if to say, I’m a CITY GIRL. She wanted back in.

So there was like zero knit time, because I was focused on catching fireflies and finishing this lil science bit for them.

But, I will be Knitting pretty pink and rose colored socks today.

I just found a recipe for Prickly Pear slush . “Nopales ” in Mexico? I have a question out to Zach . He is still teaching Chinese children at their afternoon, his 0500. His kids are wonderful. Who would have thought he would have a safe secure teaching job , hired by a Canadian and working from his home in Mexico, during the worst time to teach in person ever.

So if you have Prickly Pear ideas let me know!

ALSO CHOW CHOW, is one of Fireman’s mom’s relishes.. I do not have her recipe. I purchased a jar of chow chow premade last week. It sounds like it was created to use up the garden vegetables at the very end of the season. It sounds like a very practical thing to make and not waste anything ! That was how his mom cooked.

Okay, it is gorgeous out . 80. We are off to cycle for a while. Then I have gardening to do.

Oh and Fezzik was asked to do a photo shoot for a cat litter company a week from now. First of all, Fireman considers it torture for Fezz. It is true he prefers to be in his own house and he’s a car crier. I wanted the fame, but I cut some tangles out of his fir with the electric shears a month ago. I showed the Breeder in a photo and she said, “Oh Crap”

I’ll let you go now. I tried a podcast video and failed again. So no more attempts at that . I just waste too much time and get frustrated.

Have a good July 22 2020

When Sock Knitters Compare….

Karen thought it would be fun to compare our individual sock knitting, preferences. Not only do I think that’s a good idea, but I have to appease her as she is the only one in my life that will help me with technology. Seriously. She’s so good at it.

Karen asks : What is your favorite yarn to use for socks?

Karen: Her latest sock, shown above, was knitted using Sprout Sock by the Fiber Seed. It is a super wash 90% merino wool. She says it is smooth to knit with it.

My favorite: Gheesh. It is hard to pick one. I have always been a huge Lorna’s Laces fan. I know some of you do not like their bloom and they do fuzz up. I also like Koigu for socks. Koigu has that awesome bit of spring to it and it washes well. Really it does!

Karen asks, what size needles do you usually use with sock yarn?

Karen almost always knits socks on zero size needles. I usually use a size 2. One day She wants to knit on 00 ‘s to see if it creates a bit more secure cuff.

Karen asks, What type of needles do you use for socks?

Karen’s answer: DPNS all the way! She has tried using circulars, tried Magic Loop with one circular, and she always goes back to DPNs for comfortable knitting.

I love DPNS as well. They are the only needles I like to use. These needles like to fall to the truck floor when we are driving somewhere.

If you use DPNs how many do you use , Karen asks:

She uses 4. 3 to knit on, one to work with. I use 4 sometimes and 5 sometimes. I have troubles with the laddering when I use 3 needles.

I have a few more things to say about socks. Thank you Karen, for the topic and fun comparison.

Karen, and all of you dear readers, Are you top down or bottom up?

I’m top down all the time. That sounded perverted.

Karen said it takes her about a month to make a pair of socks. I can make a pair faster, BUT:

I have size 6 1/2 feet and she’s a size 10 foot. Big difference.

It is fair to say that I have knit and used socks more than any other thing I have knit since 2001.

I do a heel flap most of the time. I have done after thought heels and they are fun. But, mostly I enjoy turning a heel. How do you like to make your heels?

Who do you know that is a great sock knitter? Well, We all know Dee loves to knit socks and she really excels at it. Seems in summer, we all reach for the sock patterns and needles because of the great portability, interest it provides in the segments of the sock, and the lovely sock yarn varieties out there.

Oh, Karen also had a question about avoiding second sock syndrome. She knits side by side on 8 needles. So start the cuff on first needle, then when done with cuff, start the sock on next needles . This does make it easy when I am creating a lazy fair isle.

Whatever I do on the fair isle stitches , is immediately duplicated on the next sock. No need to write it down or find a pattern.

I Want to mention a few patterns that I have really liked over the years while making socks:

Dee’s Take 5 socks are so fun to make and look amazing. Free Pattern. Thanks Dee!

While they are not socks, and I use a sport weight yarn, I love SLIPPERS for Laura, by Melissa Knits 2006. They are fast, easy and they stay on and up! Slipper favorites , Anyone?

Finally,

I won’t knit any socks in a pattern that starts with a YO on the first stitch of any needle. I’ve tried so many times to knit Montana Woolies, Design #5, by Tammy Thompson but those YO’s just mess me up every time.

I will be publishing my Little Lightfoot sock pattern today or tomorrow.

And here’s one more story about Karen: Last week she lost her phone. Insert sinking, horrible feeling of imagining it being crushed by a truck’s tire in a grocery lot. She was able to get home quickly, and by the time she did, the store already had her phone . It was turned in from the parking lot by a lovely caring person. It was in perfect condition. Good people are out there! Karen’s one of them!