Thursday, July 31, 2014

Dutchman's Pipe ( Epiphyllum oxypetalum )

Twice this year, my Cereus Cactus or the Dutchman's Pipe it is commonly called has bloomed.  
It blooms at night when I am normally soundly sleeping.  I am unaware of this occasion until I  notice this large, deflated bloom laying at its feet and know I missed it again!
Well NOT this time!  This is night one-
It looks like a fairy pod!   I love the way the outer petals wrap around the bud.
During day two it was getting large and airier.
So it could do this!  Now you can see the resemblance to its name!
The bloom is about 5" across and it smells divine!  Full and rich and I wish I could share it with you!
 I took so many pictures because I stayed awake way past my bedtime to get the pictures!  I was a bit enchanted.   The nights are balmy, very warm and all the night noises made it seem like a place very different than my front yard!  The cats thought it was novel to have me sitting in the front yard in the middle of the night, too!
 From the place where the appendage comes from the leaf to the bloom is about 8".   This stem is holding a very large bloom.
 You can see why I was so excited to finally get to meet this magical blossom!
 Day three daytime.  The bloom is drooping but it was open for night three just not as perky.
Today it is but a sad rendition of itself.......I am so glad I didn't miss its blooming this time!

You can read about this here if you would like some more information!

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

The Rest of the Visit!

I tried a game of beads with Will and he got the concept of putting them into one container and then the other but he wanted to eat every other one!  I will try this again in a few months!
 Friends came to visit and he loved playing with the girls!  Bill shared the beloved tractor with them!
 Off they went on an adventure!  Hang on!
Ashley and I made good use of the time and over the last few days we finished piecing all the blocks of her first quilt!  (She has to purchase some more background fabric for all the corner pieces.)  We wanted a place to lay the blocks out and SEE them-the floor didn't work with toddlers and cats around so we rearranged the sewing room.  We made a design wall using a flannel backed table cloth tacked to the newly found wall!  It worked wonderfully!  Ashley did find herself a bit compulsive with the rearranging........she had the final arrangement about ten times!
I moved the knick knack shelves from that wall to the area over my quilting frame.The rest of the clutter has new homes or is tossed.  It was a very exciting project.
When we packed up Ashley's quilt to go home, I put one of my tops that needed finishing up there!
See how inviting the room is now?!


Monday, July 28, 2014

Things to Do

 Bill brought me this 'I love you and you need a hug' bouquet!  It worked!
 I am loving the Mystery Shawl project.   It is moving right along and now I am working to decrease to the other end!
 Someone is wishing he could figure out the e-spinner if we would just turn the other way....

I have made skeins of yarn with my niddy noddy (left photo)for years but the motion is killing me!  I just invested in the new skein winder on the right-I just attach the yarn from my espinner bobbin and rotate the wheel and 'Voila!' , I have a skein.  Much easier on the hands, wrists, elbows and shoulders!

Sunday, July 27, 2014

TDF 2014 Finish Line

I spun 1,950 yards of yarn which is just a bit short of my goal which was 2, 174.  This number is the total of miles in the race and my goal in yards.  The top photo is the Teeswater/Cotswold with 258yards, the bottom left is the Rambouillet with 481 yards, and the Alpaca finished with 1,211 yards!  Not bad for being entered in the handicapped division!!! lol

Friday, July 25, 2014

TDF 2014 Day 19 And More...


 The next truckload of mulch finished the front yard!
 The whole porch is finally planted and mulched-it looks just like I always knew it could!
 All 80 feet of porch is now presentable! Yay!
And the live oak tree is perked up with the mulch!
 You can tell it is in full Summer mode when you start spotting these guys-they are huge;  5" of grasshopperness!
There is no bird or animal that will eat these pests!  They stink terrible when you kill them.  A job  for the faint of heart-NOT!
 I have another skein of Alpaca finished!
 This is the longest skein I have ever spun-it is 623 yards!
I labeled it until it comes up in the knitting queue!
 Look who came for a visit!  Matthew, Ashley and Will came for a weekend visit!  Last night we went for an evening swim in the very warm pool to unwind and then outside just before Will's bedtime for some excitement...
 There was a mini firework show!  OOOOOOOhhhhh!
Ahhhh!  Wonderful!  Will was a bit nervous and hung on to his Mom really hard but after each one he whispered, "More....!"

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

TDF 2014-Day 17

I tackled the making of yarn today!   Plying the two bobbins of singles spins together much more quickly.   The new anti-inflammatory meds gave me some relief today, too.  Ahhhh, what nice words to type-r e l i e f.  Not eradication of pain but a reduction and that is a wonderful improvement!
 I have half of the Alpaca wound off now into a 450 yard skein of fingering weight yarn.
 I take it off the niddy noddy, admire it and then pop it into the wash basin!
This removes the last of the dirt and such from the animal and sets the twist so it is a perfectly beautiful skein of yarn!
See what I mean!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Yard Renovation

 I love the look of red mulch.   With the hacienda look of the front of the house, it is a perfect complement.  Unfortunately, it dries up and disappears and needs replacing every few years!
 This is the year so Bill went and got a truckload of new mulch and we set out to give the front yard some love!  (I mostly watch and supervise!  It works out well, the perfect melding of brain and brawn! lol)
 We ran out of mulch before we were completely finished, but we accomplished enough to see how much better it looks now!
 I am so happy with the transformation!  We will continue the yard work on Thursday!
 Oh, it is so nice to see all the plants stand out now instead of look like scrub.   The mulch holds moisture which sustains the plants in the heat of the day, too.  Function and beauty is a pleasing combination!
Yes, I like the look of new mulch........it is just the right touch!

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Whooosh!

That was time rushing by......days tend to blur when you are attending doctor's appointments and labs and insurance wrangling.  It is not an easy schedule when you are feeling tip-top let alone a lump of miserable pain!  Needless to say, it's been a tough week!  I feel like this-all washed up!
The only thing slow motion has been my craft production!  I finished the second bobbin of Alpaca at least and so it will be ready to ply.
Long time friends, Tom and Becki came for a visit!  We went to Corky Bells for lunch then back home for a bit of yard review and then inside where it was cooler and more comfortable!
I ripped out all the knitting I had done for clue one and reknit it on bigger needles.  Not only does the shawl feel better-lighter and less dense, it is 5" longer-much better!   Now on to clue two and to catch up on the knitting!

(I am going to post-date this so I can catch up with other subjects, too!)

Now to Bind...

                                        Bow tie is off the frame and waiting for its binding. I'm hoping to get to it in the nex...