Sunday, April 22, 2018

a week of springtime - garden news


in which our plucky heroine enjoys spring temperatures, before the heat hit later this coming week...

Yesterday my dear pal Thora came down here and did basically two days work in one, weeding and moving things around and cutting back the grass and weeds in the backyard and front. She groomed the sword ferns that threaten each year to take over the north side of the house, so now I can get past them into the backyard on a clear path. All the scrap fencing and lumber that had to be moved to remove Stupid Deck is now neatly stacked up again and out of the way until needed. The funky old plastic hose and reel went out by the curb with a "Free" sign taped on. Even the old rotting raised bed framework has been removed, and the yard is like a blank canvas, well sort of, for me to consider how best to configure it for future usefulness. Still need to somehow flatten out the lumps and divots, which will take time, and if Acorn Cottage ever gets to the top of the ChipDrop list, the chippings will help even things out as mulch. One can hope.
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The front yard has a mostly shaded garden bed alongside the front ramp, and assorted feral and purposefully planted spring flowers are making me smile right now. There are the last remnants of the hellebore, and though the white violets are finished, now there are the pinky-purple ones, and still some grape hyacinths, and sleepy-dicks, and white and blue wood hyacinth.
There are buds on the black elder out in the parking strip, and signs of life on the currant shrub. The rhubarb has responded nicely to the heavy feed of worm castings and has actual largeish leaves and at least one nice thick stalk.. I am hoping that with further feedings it will finally turn into something substantial enough to harvest from. Sadly, it looks as if something killed most of the top half of my star magnolia. I need to make waterers for the baby pine, the baby apple, the baby quince at the very least, since they will all be needing supplemental water this year and next, as the weather warms up. Hopefully there are a few unused white buckets lying around... drill a small hole in the bottom, and fasten skeeter netting over the top and they will serve to gradually irrigate the trees. I may look for one for the persimmon as well, since if I water it all summer, it may reward me with fruit.
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April SMART goals (x=extra)
# THINGS MADE THINGS FIXED THINGS GONE
1 celtic enamel pelican bathrobe shouldersbag to Goodwill
2 trapunto knotwork taxes donebag to Goodwill
3 pliers rackapple tree pruned spare lawn mower
4 charter #7 tunes moved old hose and reel
5 xAesa clothes mended -
6 x x x
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8 x x x
9 x
x x
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15 x x x

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Saturday snippets...

In which our plucky heroine enjoys the beauty of the season...

Today was a "ride transit way out to Beaverton and back for acupuncture day". While heading home, with an extra transfer downtown to get away from the slightly crazy Batman dude, I saw this beautiful wall mural, that must have been at least four or five stories tall. I was walking through a different part of the downtown than I usually do, as I had hopped on the trolley to help two lost Seattleoids find the art museum. Really I couldn't help myself, how often am I approached by two elders with the comment "you look like you know what you are doing, can you help us"... Put all the shine back into the day that crazydude had removed it did.
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And, I found this unusually red dogwood blossom on a street tree, whilst I was finally walking home from my last bus transfer of the day

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Apple blossoms are just beginning to open, on the one side of the established tree in the backyard. That one was planted about ten years ago; the baby trees from this year have leaf buds opening, and the young feral plum on the south side of the house had a few blossoms this year, for the first time.

The group of feral plums in the far corner of the backyard are almost done blooming now. I always wonder how they get pollinated in such early spring, but something always manages it. This year I'm going to start pruning on the feral plums as it needs to be a few dry days in a row, as plums do badly when pruned in the cold and wet. And the feral grape is large and tall enough enough this year that some attention now will encourage it to grow along the fenceline...

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April SMART goals (x=extra)
# THINGS MADE THINGS FIXED THINGS GONE
1 celtic enamel pelican bathrobe shouldersbag to Goodwill
2 trapunto knotwork taxes donebag to Goodwill
3 pliers rackapple tree pruned spare lawn mower
4 charter #7 tunes moved -
5 x- -
6 x x x
7 x x x
8 x x x
9 x
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15 x x x

Thursday, April 19, 2018

a different sort of SWAP

in which our plucky heroine indulges herself...

I just plain love wardrobe planning, there is something so very satisfying about figuring out how to make a chart or diagram to view the data. Over the course of the winter my sense was that I have plenty of pinafores, and enough knit tops to get through at least another winter. I am sorely lacking in popover dresses which are my summertime staple, and even more sorely lacking in garments for the transitional seasons, with springtime barking at my heels even as we speak:

BLACK INDIGO BROWN GREY TAUPE teal or multi
pinafores 4 1 1 1 1 (1)
woven tops - - - - - -
knit tops 4 2 1 1 - -
dresses - - - - - -
popovers 2 1 + (1) - 1 - -
cropped pants 1 - 1 1 - -
slips 1 - - 1 - (1)
jacket/cardigan 1 - - 1 - 1
Based on this chart, it is obvious that what is most needed is an assortment of dresses, which can be worn both under pinafores if the weather is cool, and on their own until it gets beastly hot. Even better, making up some everyday dresses will use some of the printed cottons that I have in stash, and as I have a TNT dress pattern it will be fairly easy to accomplish. This will be my focus for my personal sewing for the next while... I have some indigo stripey batik cotton, some indigo pin-striped cotton, some grey/white stripey cotton, as well as some black/grey/blue stripe cotton, all of which will make good everyday dresses. I also have the indigo batik rayon popover dress already cut out from my stalled SWAP 2108...

My stretch goal, as always, is to, if I have the mojo, dive back into an attempt at a woven top/blouse, button front shirt. I have a new pattern to try, the Cashmerette Harrison blouse, which is designed for "curvy" women of size, and has bust options up to H cup. Looking at the pattern, it seems hopeful that I may have better luck than I did with my attempt at the Tabula Rasa top last year. And, the pattern comes with a very thorough instruction book that covers a number of the details of how to successfully assemble the details of sleeve placket and stand collar for a very shirt-like effect.