Once upon a time two womyn moved to the foothills of the Catskill Mountains. They dreamed of growing things, wandering woods, and ending their days rocking side-by-side as the sun set over those same mountains....
Linda--in love with the bees; ordered two more hives and bee packages (shipped from Georgia). Most bees arrived dead, including one of the queens (and the other is iffy). She's on her way back from having zipped up to Better Bee near Saratoga to pick up new queens. Lesson learned--don't go with shipped bees.
Knitting--made a roll-brim hat!!! Yep, me--I knit a hat, start to finish. Okay, so I was ready to toss it out the window trying to finish off those final stitches with the circular needles, only to find out last night that I was supposed to use double-pointed needles for the final stitches. Oh! Is that what they were for??? Last night, officially started Linda's sweater (the sweater-knitting 4-part clinic) in a cozy Cascade 220 heathered burgundy; took it apart this afternoon when it got so twisted up I couldn't tell where I was at. So far I'm liking knitting squares and rectangles better; circular needles are instruments of torture. Gotta say this....Claudia of Country Wool is just fantastic. I'm so far out of the league of the other students in the class, but she juggles assorted skill levels in a way that never leaves me feeling out of the loop or like I shouldn't be there.
Monday evening, for reasons we still don't understand, Zamboni died. Zammy (aka Zammy Beans, Zambalya, ZeeBone, ZeeBee, Zamboni Macaroni) was a mushmelon of a cat, loving beyond all reason, affectionate and sweet-natured. She never did learn exactly how to meow like a real cat, and from the very beginning, loved to be held like a baby. Someone once commented that she had eyes more human than cat, and it's true. She is deeply missed. I realize, writing this, that I never paid homage to Cootie, who had to be put down not quite two months ago. Age and assorted health issues had taken over Miss Coots, who had been blind since '06, and although her brave, sweet spirit was still fighting the good fight, her tiny body just didn't have anything left; we needed to let her go. She too is missed terribly, and the house feels noticeably emptier with our two indoor (or mostly indoor in ZeeBee's case) cats gone.
The end of May had me in a serious funk, and one of the things that came out of it was a renewed desire to finally get healthy. Thanks to Weight Watchers, have lost 12 lbs so far. It's a long, long road, but it feels like this is the right time.
That's the synopsis....photos to follow; wait till you see Linda's excellent, non-chemical solution to the Japanese beetle problem that ravages our grapes every year! We're looking at the potential of several quarts of grapes this year and we weren't going to lose them to beetles...my beloved is one smart cookie!
A pair of redtails shriek their call to vespers; our eyes turn heavenward because we know --we know-- the sound of glory. We know holiness when we hear it. Even though all that is holy, all that was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be is in dirt and roots, whispering leaves, blazing sun, drowsing cats, open-hearted yarrow, tongue-teasing strawberry, even... yes, even in the egg-carrying spider... still our eyes turn heavenward, hearts aching to join the joy-full, blessedly glorious dance of the hawks.
Could it be 'blue'??? Could that be a clear, sunny sky? Really? Last time I saw that was last Friday when we--at long last--bushwhacked our way through the jungle that was once the raised vegetable beds and planted two of them, and made plans for the third. The jungle had apparently provided shelter for a dozen tomatoes that grew from last year's seeds, which I didn't think could happen--learn something new everyday, I guess. While we didn't appear to get the blight last year, we clearly had some issue, so those volunteers have been pulled up & will gettheir chance, but in containers. Meanwhile we've planted a dozen other tomatoes--including five different varieties of grape, some peppers, herbs, etc. Because the 5 perennial beds look even worse than the veggie ones did (in fact, two aren't fully built yet), we decided to co-opt the third veggie bed as a temporary home for Big Sky Series echinaceas, balloon flowers, cerise yarrows, Russian sage (which is stunning when paired with Euhorbia Blackbird!), coral bells, and assorted other perennials. It's kind of cool to see all that color and beauty up close and personal when we eat outside. The rest of teh veggies are going to be container plantings this year. Every morning right about 6:30 we hear--and see--the Canada geese migrating north. We can almost set our clock by these raucous flocks of 30 to 50 low-flying birds winging their way to cooler climes. The other wonderful sound we can hear when we're out on the porch is the thrumming beat of hummingbird wings as they buzz us on the way to one of the feeders. I've finally been able to pick the knitting back up, thanks to the chiropractor. Excess computer time still presents challenges, but I'm much better than a week ago! I've only got a week to finish the hat which is meant to be both practice with circular needles in preparation for the sweater and the equivalent of a large sample swatch to determine what this particular yarn will do. Bummed because somewhere in there I dropped a stitch, and to you seasoned knitters, that's easily remedied....but I couldn't for the life of me figure out what to do....so I have a hole in the hat. Sigh. But I accept self-awarded kudos for not giving up on the whole thing! I'll be posting before and after photos in the next few weeks--after months of searching for the 'right' chest/trunk for storing spinning and knitting wool, I scored a solid cedar-lined blanket chest for $20 at a yard sale this past weekend! The inside is in gorgeous shape; the outside is atrocious, but I have a plan....
An apparent pinched nerve is totally screwing with me, severely limiting knitting and computer time, but last night was so enjoyable I wanted to immortalize it. We had a belated celebration of older son's 29th (!) birthday. He and his wife, my younger son, and my sister all joined us for a feast of cool, refreshing salads, cold beverages and alot of laughter. The conversation ranged from older son's murderous thoughts on our vole problem to Linda's bees to Arizona politics to spiders to hummingbirds to bats to semi-local politics (hmmm....sensing a couple of themes here) to daughter-in-law's Ph.D pursuits, and on and on. Most of the cats joined us (Susie was feeling a bit reclusive), and the evening outside ended with a fabulous strawberry pie imported from Red Hook and a fireworks display--as my sister phrased it--courtesy of dozens of fireflies. What a perfect summer evening.