Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Yard Candy

This tree is full of blossoms and when you stand under it you can hear buzzing like you are next to a bee hive-it is full of honeybees! We haven't seen a single bee around here-there is a desperate shortage in our vicinity and it was a double blessing to see so many bees here! We have found out that this is an American Plum Tree-it will have fruit in late summer which is good to use for jelly or jam....right now, we will enjoy the beauty, the aroma and the bees!

See how the tangerines have ripened? They are juicy, dripping good! It is so pretty to look out our diningroom window and be greeted with this 'sunshine' every morning!
This is my Ponderosa Lemon Tree which has given birth to a lemon that probably weighs as much as the rest of the tree! We are ignorant as to how to know when to pick this wonder! It is still firmly attached, the fruit is still hard but it smells good and it is still growing so we are waiting and hoping we won't find it on the ground some morning. It is hard to tell in the photo but this lemon is about 8" long and and 25" around!


We have tons of these short shrubs growing in our hedge. They are covered with these berries all year. They are evergreen and everbearing and we don't know their names either! They are not firethrons because they have no thorns and the berries only grow under the foliage not mingled in the leaves. Would love to hear what they are, if you know, leave me a note in the comments! Thanks!

Monday, January 28, 2008

Project Putter

Knitted this skein of tussah silk up finally, it has been spun for a year and needed a purpose! I blocked the knitted squares and serged the fabric backs to them-very little stretching actually resulted but I did have a full supply of pins to keep each layer in place.
The back is a simple overlap layout because I don't like to have the stiffness of zippers but I want to be able to remove the pillow cover for cleaning-I almost use this exclusively.


Here is an outfit I perked up for Abigail. I had asked Marsel for the jean pants a few months ago and I cut them off (the waist still fits but she had outgrown the length) and added some fabric to make a skirt; a ruffle to the t-shirt and voila!

Here is the basic block Mom and I are making-it requires 4 blocks to make the one patterned pinwheel-now that we have the pattern in our minds, the blocks go together very quickly. We are also trying something new, I read on my yahoo group for quilting on machines that some innovators are pressing their seams open for flatter quilts which are easier to quilt by machine. We are trying to do that-it takes a bit longer to press but it sure does lay nicely. Will let you know how it goes !

Here is the first photo I took of the quilt blocks-Tom likes to be first on the scene and says he hasn't been in the blog for a while and Molly got to.....the things you do for love!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

New Toy


This arrived in the mail yesterday..............and I struggled to make friends but it wouldn't talk to me for ever so long! This morning with the help of a friend who was ever so patient with me-I didn't goof up, I needed an additional download from online cuz I wasn't the only one with this problem! Well, I now have a knitting podcast on and I am cranking through my chores, it is warm out--and a pleasure to sweep off the front porch and sidewalk with arm skin showing again! Now to knit a podcast carrier for this.........
For those of you who like tech details: this is a Zen V Plus
(I do need to purchase different ear buds cuz these won't stay in and so I have them duct taped to my ears............now that is really high tech!
I am not kidding.)

Monday, January 21, 2008

Good Company-Bad Weather

Had a great visit with my brother and sister-in-law but the temps stayed cool and rainy. Now the cool is relative, I realize it is not northern cold but cool to us considering just a few days before they arrived it was 80 but the whole time they visited we saw little of the sun-one day hit 70 and the sun was nice, the wind was not! Oh, well, my brother put it in perspective-I'm not shoveling!
Here is something new-we have lawn in the winter! Bill planted winter rye. It is a lovely soft lawn but will not grow in the summer-the sun kills it then. We will be overplanting this with the Bahia grass in a few months and the rye will help the new grass establish itself. The plan is to have the Bahia mature just as the rye dies off so that we will have a lawn in the summer, too!

Some plants love the weather no matter the temperatures.....and others just look sad We are hoping for a comeback-maybe from the roots........hopefully it is not lost forever, though it is a pitiful shell of his former self!


Floors are cold on a slab foundation and this give a boost to sock feet! Some yarn I spun myself when I was a rookie. It is worsted weight-all I did was this weight in the beginning! The wool was perfect for this project and I have enough to make a few more pairs for some visitors next month!
Last week when 'in town' to take Bob and Shelly to the airport, we stopped and bought my parents a laptop so they could be connected while wintering here. Well , 3 computers and many hours of 'tech help' later-they finally have a laptop and a connection to the internet! It is good to have them here to help!
Hence, little in the line of sewing and knitting and I haven't spun anything for 10 days! Woe is me, but UPS brought me a delivery tonight---->now you are going to have to wait for tomorrow to see 'cuz blogger won't let me load now and supper calls............

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

A Snowbird Sighting

This is a common sight this time of year......the arrival of a snowbird! This particular species includes my parents and their chauffeurs, my brother and his wife! My parents stay until April....the younger family members in this flock, fly right back north. We went to visit my dad's sister-in-law who is a permenant resident-living a few hours south of here-nice drive and great visit.
We stop on the way to visit my uncle's gravesite in Florida's National Cemetery in Bushnell.
While my parents are here, I will be posting many more projects and trip pics-we do travel more with them here!

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Outdoor Updates

I mentioned on the last post that we had a large burn pile....thought I would show you! Yes, in the middle is still some of the camphour stump-it is getting smaller but it was mammoth so it will still take quite a few burns to get rid of it! We never got the rains in July and August so did not get many opportunities to burn then; it is the dry season now so will have to wait for the odd spot of rain to get to burn this--at present, the area here has a 24" deficit in rainfall.

Caleb is here to work on his car-Dad still has the tools necessary to jack it up to change tires. Here he is working on changing his back speakers---> I stepped out to see how it was going and had a good laugh at his pose-he gave me permission to share it!

Here is one of our new little orange trees putting out its first good set of blossoms....I do wish I could 'scratch and sniff' link it for you!



And while we wait for the oranges to grow we are able to eat the tangerines that are just ripening......they will be good for months now-small but sweet, really sweet;mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm,sweet!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Birthday Fiber to Yarn


The lovely merino/silk fiber I received for my birthday has been spun into the finest yarn I have spun yet at 18 wpi. It is so pretty with the silk adding a luster and strength to the wool -altogether pleasing. (No, I am not positive what I will knit with it yet but will just admire it in the bowl for now as Fiber Art.)


This is what has been keeping me busy for the last two days....Bill thought just a few hours....well, six to be exact and six more again yesterday...I am feeling muscles I forgot I owned! I also forgot to take a before picture, sorry, just imagine solid undergrowth with potato vines-15 per tree and 30 feet long each! It is so satisfying to me to do yard work-to conquer a tangled jungle and reveal the beauty and form of a palm tree, well there just aren't words enough to frame the thrill. We would cut down and trim and pull and then fill the tractor bucket with a load of brush and Bill would drive it to the burn pile out back. It is still too dry to burn but following the next wet day we are going to have a whopper of a bonfire! Marshmallows anyone? This is all that remains of a 30' pordocarpus tree-it was a beauty but planted in the wrong spot-it grew into the driveway and blocked the view to our spectacular magnolia tree. The bushes all around the trunk are azaleas that have grown horizontally because of the dense tree in their midst-they were probably circling the pretty little evergreen tree but the vision the long-ago gardener desired has come and gone! We still have to remove the trunk and then drastically cut back all the azaleas. I had wanted to wait until after they bloom (in March) but I can't bear to see them like this. One amazing fact of southern gardening is that the bounce-back factor is accelerated here so that if we cut them way back now next year they will be completely recovered and blooming! By the way, warm temps are back and we worked the 2 days in 80 degrees of sunshine.........we like the way the temps bounce back, too!


Here is a little pair of baby socks from the leftover yarn I died for the 'Sock Lessons' skeins. I have enough yarn to make another pair-they are toe-up and I can make a pair in an evening, especially if football is on!

Friday, January 4, 2008

A Freeze in the Tropics

A freeze two nights in a row makes this......
A very sad coleus.

And this.............

A very sad looking banana plant.

When it gets this cold it is not just cold air descending on our plants so much as cold all around them like putting them in a freezer-we put tarp over and down the sides but this did not prevent the air temp around them from doing its work. All the other plants I snuggled under their covers are fine-it was just the ones most susceptible to cold that died. Now we know why the hummingbirds fly even souther....local news is showing clips of other wildlife that is also struggling-namely, iguanas...falling out of trees which can be an annoyance, right?! Bill has a few sad looking tomato plants in his garden, too, and time will tell how they do.

Today, the sun is out and the temperature hit 60 so the freeze warning is over for now and probably won't repeat this year....live and learn.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Extremes!

Yes, the cats know that it is time to rest and wait out the cold snap! It was 26 degrees when we woke this morning but the sun is warming it up outside; only warming it because it is not going to be warm; there is a difference!
So what do you do when it is so cold outside? Put on an old movie and spin and eat fudge............

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Welcome 2008!

We will embrace the new year with a visit to the beach today!
The temperature will be a mild 68 degrees and the sun will warm us with a gentle breeze. I would like this to be a new tradition to herald in the new year so..........



Here is a picture of
a flowering bush
(small tree?)
in the front yard
----->

I have not been able to identify
it yet...can you? There is not
a tremendous aroma from
the bloom but it is pretty. It resemble the leaves of a Ailanthus but it is not the right flower....will keep looking.

I never do New Year's resolutions...........instead I dig out unfinished projects to either bring to conclusion or to rip-out or toss! It is a great way to purge for a clear view for the coming months. Give it a try! I will be posting the FO's throughout the month and even the ones I will redirect!

Success with Strickmich!

I didn't know what my problem was on the first three attempts but all of a sudden,  I understood what the designer, Martina Behm, w...