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May 2011
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July 2011

The Rain Stopped

...and the veggies came on big time! 

Friday night, and Saturday morning,we spent quite a bit of time in the garden and I thinned the carrots, cut the garlic scapes, thinned the beets, and weeded my already miniscule ass right off.  It was exciting to see that recent rains have not dampened the gardens desire to grow goodies!  There are little peppers and baby squash, as well as blossoms, and bees, and peas and, and, and! It's quite exciting.(Sorry I didn't get a picture of the beet greens.  They were young and delicious.)



See the baby squash behind the blossom? 
Growing a green and beautiful garden is worthy of Project Spectrum's June selection of GREEN! Right?

Got A Life

My intention was to post at least 4 days this week, but life, my life, got in the way.  Nothing major, nothing urgent, just living and doing and being kept me from the blog. The garden is a big draw in the summer months, but the weather was frightful on Sunday! Over an inch of rain fell in less than 24 hours (can't believe it? check out Steph's blog) and, it was cold enough we turned the heat back on AND, I had to wear socks again! (And, if you want to see how much snow is still in the mountains check out Cheryl's pictures--and her fabulous new shawl.)  Holy macaroni!  Anyway, we decided to go on our annual movie trek.  We saw the new Pirate movie, which was fun, but being in a theater also renewed our understand of the lack of desire we have to sit confined with 100 strangers.

Monday the weather was beautiful and after work I headed to the garden.  While Smith planted and tended his darlings, I did a little weeding, and then walked over the check the neighbors strawberry patch*. How's this for June's Project Spectrum color?


There is so much potential in this little strawberry patch and, while the birds (robins) eat their fair share along the edges, betwixt and between, the intrepid searcher can find many hidden gems. 

Since I was quite intrepid, we had plenty of the little jewels to eat with a bowl of ice cream. Finally, or so it seems, summer has arrived. Everyday has been beautiful and warm since since the longest day of the year.  Thankfully.


*The neighbor is out of town and gave me permission to harvest anything and everyting. We've enjoyed lettuce, peas, beets (baby beets from thinning the plants), as well as the strawberries from his garden. 

Yarns Along

Yesterday Carole's ToT was about book recommendations and it was so much fun to read the books on others lists. Reading has always been a passion of mine, but in the last two years I've taken it on with a vengeance of love. The iPod has made it possible to do two things at once. I can walk and read, knit and read, clean the house (not that I really ever do that) and read, and just sit in the sun and read. With the newest book on my iPod I've stepped outside my usual genres and into an historical fantasy, "Under Heaven" by Guy Gavriel Kay. Since I liked the Chinese version of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, (the movie) I like this book very much.


Not everything is available in an audio format and, in that case, I turn to the library, or maybe even purchase the book (for book club usually). Since the big cleanout of my guest/junque/craft room, buying every book is not as attractive as it once was. I love the local library and so, here I am with a borrowed book.  When I'm contemplating a book, and the titles turns up on Kym’s sidebar, AND she gives it a rating to 4-5 stars, I'm in. "Parrot & Olivier in America" by Peter Carey, was just such a book, and I'm enjoying it immensely.

It's been some time since Pyromania has made an appearance and I didn't want you to get the wrong idea, or suspect second sock syndrome. I am not a fan of SSS and don't like it to happen to me. This poor sock has had limited attention paid to it, but it has continued to grow. By fall there will be a pair, no problem. The yarn is Kim's Pandora and I hear tell my Woolen Rabbit Club yarn is in the mail, with more of this lovely yarn. The color is a secret, but I'm inclined to predict, a second pair of socks could be in the making before fall shows it's face again.

Thank you, Ginny for the chance to post about books and knitting with your Yarn Along.

Does She or Doesn't She

When was the last time you saw a bit of knitting on this blog?  About two weeks ago I posted a finised project, but haven't talked about "in progress" knitting for quite a long time.  It's easy to talk about knitting when there is something to share, something to see, but I'm a little at loose ends and can't seem to settle on any one thing. 


Sweaters have been started, swatches of a couple more are in progress, ideas for other projects are churning, but nothing feels settled. The sweater, which now has a sleeve and part of a body, doesn't feel right...there may be a size problem, but I'm not sure! Swatches lie, but Summer Tweed lies more and knitting with it is always a crap shoot. Maybe I'm not in the mood for gambling.  Swatching for other sweaters as created an even bigger case of indecision. I'm at knits end or wits end or something.


The one projectRav_linkredyarnball I had on the needles decided to not play nice. Actually, it's all my fault. There was a bit of hubris at the beginning because I did not read the pattern correctly. Much frogging ensued. The scarf/shawl forgave the hubris and we are now back on track. At the moment, continued growth of this project is the only certain thing in my knitting bag.  (Well, that's not quite true as I also have a sock in progress and when I give it quality time, it grows, too. Just very, very slowly.)

Spectrum Perfection

The weekend weather was a mixed bag of clouds and sun, but temperatures stayed in the mid-70 range, just right for patio time. I sat in patches of shade to read, knit, sip a bit of tea, and completely relax.  The sky was beautiful at all times; the sunrises, the sunsets and every hour in between, as clouds wove colors of gray, lavender, pink and salmon through the shades of blue.

Sunrise Sunday

Last Sunday, thunder rumbled and for a short time rain danced in the streets, but the weather never quite forced us in.  The occasional, and short lived rain, covered the hosta leaves with pearls and freshened the air.


The greens of the natural world feed my soul, the jewels left by a summer storm a crowning glory.

Pickled Spring

Every summer, and through the fall, my mother and grandmother harvested from their gardens and preserved the bounty by canning.  For months on end, almost every day for months on end, in a hot kitchen, you'd find my mother slaving over peaches, pears, green beans, apples, berries, grapes, tomatoes, tomatoes, tomatoes, cucumbers (pickles, pickles, pickles), the rewards of which we'd eat through the winter.

The "charm" of  bottling and canning never carried over and the thought of spending hours and hours and hours in the kitchen just turns me cold.  I'll make gallons of Vicki's Roasted Tomato Sauce (to freeze) and may try my hand at one or two other garden delights...but canning will not happen. 

When I read Amanda's post on pickling radishes I was reminded of my childhood summers in the kitchen, but her idea didn't require any canning techniques and, with a bounty of radishes in the garden, I had to give it a try. 


This recipe was quick, easy and preserved spring in a jar of golden liquid. The results are crisp, tangy, and tasty.  We have enough radishes to make a second batch, but not to worry...this is so easy, there is no danger of my turning into a domestic goddess.

You May Be Surprised

The truth is, I have a favorite green. It's sharp, springing and some would say, poisonous. My embroidery teacher used the term "poison" for a color that would change the viewers perception of the colors around it.

This jar is the first thing I thought of when Beverly asked if we could share our favorite red or green objects and, since declaring my dislike of the color green, I thought I'd surprise you by sharing the only green object in my house. 


This jar is not only my favorite green object, it's one of my favorite objects period. The color, the relief on the sides, the fact that it was given to me by a friend, and that it's a jar...every bit of it gives me a lift.

You may not be surprised to learn I have a lone skein of green yarn. Just one. It's in was a kit for a pair of socks I have yet to knit. The depths of the color green Kim achieves are glorious, even to an eye of a non-green lover.


That's it...there isn't much green in my daily life except for flora, my favorite style of green.


It's no secret, green is not a color I like, wear or enjoy.  There are a few green colors (I won't name names), that turn me cold, greens I truly do not like, but do not dispair the world is full of good greens.

Smith planted half a row of kale, a beautiful green row of kale, and the first thing I thought of was kale chips.  Several friends have made and enjoyed this healthy snack, so I did a little research and found a recipe I liked.

After cutting, washing, and drying (thoroughly) the kale I mooshed it around in a baggy to give it a lovely olive oil bath.  The leaves were then laid out in a sinlge layer on a cookie sheet, sprinkled with red chili flakes, and put it into a 350 oven.


Fresh from the oven they were lightly sprinkled with kosher salt and left to cool. The first batch was consumed completely by moi. I could.not.stop. eating. I made six batches (about 8 large leaves), but made a couple of goofs...I left in the stems ( time I'll cut them out) and the leaves were a little too large for easy consumption.  The next batch will be perfect.

Within hours we had consumed all of the kale, in the form of roasted, spicy, crispy and lovely green kale chips. Healthy, delish, and addicting.

It's June!  Time for some green PSRav_linkredyarnball love. Yes, truly.

The Sun, The SUN!

The sun has been playing hide and seek and we're a little sick of the game. Over 10 feet of snow still sit in the highest elevations and every river in the state is headed for flood stage as the temperatures wearm.  It’s a damned if you do, damned it you don’t kinda year.


CuratioRav_linkredyarnball was a lovely cure for the gloomy mood which had descended with the never ending days of gray and rain. The sunny color helped lift my mood and the easy lace kept my focus enjoyable and light. 

Knitting with Kim's gorgeous red, New England Red, and the luxuriously soft Pearl yarn felt like I was holding the summer sun in my hands. It made me feel gloriously warm.


Curatio's architecturally constructed lace is uncomplicated and unique. This isn't a lace you can become complacent with, as the design may seem straight forward and simple, however, it actually a case of simple elegance.  Kirsten has many little tricks that keep the lace aligned, strong, and elegant. Between the yarn and the design, sat a very happy knitter.  Curatio single handedly cured the gloom.

Shear(ing Day) Fun

We started out early... ready, willing and able to help with shearing day at the Sunrise Ranch. I hitched up my jeans and headed on into the fray of fur, fun and gittin' dirty.

Deb hangs onto the first of the pretties and Scott the shearer stands nearby.  After we do a bit of wrangling the animal is sheared, toenails clipped and teeth checked. 

This little one had a pretty saddle of deep and soft fur, which we took away to shirt and save for future yarn. Scott, the most excellent shearer, adeptly shears her back, legs, neck and face with tender loving care.

After shearing the alpaca check each other out, as everyone looks different (clean and shaved)! Later that night, it was cold enough to wrap everyone in a quilted or fleece coat.

The day started with many hardy helping hands but, as time goes on people have other obligations, which means.... near the end when the big llama are left to do, only a few of us were around to do the work.

Thusly, the photographers were ask to step in. Even though the videographer had to work hard to keep the animal in place, he still had a smile on his face. Smith is also there to wrangle the big llama as they readied him for shearing.  

After a hard days work we head in for a drink (or two) and some relaxation time.  Despite the hard work, or because of it, we have a good time.  Jim and Deb are the best hosts, as they feed us and make sure we're warm and happy.  Sadly, there always comes the time we must take our leave...


As we walked out the door a rainbow greeted us.  Not a person in our group had seen such a low lying rainbow. It was a good sign after a great day of hard work and fun!