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I'm never bored. If I'm not knitting or spinning, I'm gardening or reading. Always up to something!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Green with Envy

At the CT Garden & and Flower show yesterday I found this beauty.  Her name is Helleborus x ballardiae, commonly called Helleborus Gold Collection "Cinnamon Snow" and isn't she delicious?  She's a perennial and will be the earliest bloomer in my spring shade garden.  I could plant her outside today if it wasn't so windy. She wasn't cheap but she's an elegant charmer in every botanical way. As I was carrying her along on my way out of a lecture, a man walking toward me, also on his way to a garden lecture stopped in his tracks.  "Where did you get that gorgeous Hellebore?", he inquired, "and what variety is it?   - so green, so beautiful!  I told him I had purchased the plant at the Natureworks ww.naturework.com garden center booth.  "Oh, yes, of course, Nancy's booth...", he was familiar with Nancy DuBrule-Clemente's garden center.  The man went on his way and my husband and I continued along.  My husband ducked into the men's room and the gentleman showed up along side me AGAIN! Still going on and on about my little Hellebore.  Since I concurred, of course, I felt even better about spending $15 on a single plant.  My husband returned to my side and we went on our way.  "I thought the guy was trying to pick you up," he commented, looking over his shoulder suspiciously.  I spent the ride home fruitlessly trying to explain plant envy. "Honey, I'm almost 60 years old.  Trust me, it was the plant." 

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Mr. Rogers Sweater & The Button Box

The "Gramps" sweater seems to be very stylish this season for tiny baby boys so here's the latest version, knitted by me.  We're about 5 weeks away, give or take, from becoming grandparents again.  My daughter is giving their 2 year old a baby brother and his name is Daniel.  As soon as my husband makes him laugh, he can be in Pop-pop's "club" that will be comprised of the trio of little grandsons who will be romping around our back yard in a year or so.

I found the little vintage leather buttons in my mother's button box.  I'm the only person I know who actually has a button box.  When I was a kid, one of my favorite past times was dumping out my grandmother's button box and sifting through the hundreds of little treasures spread out on her dining room table.  The button box had a very practical purpose in those days.  Buttons were made in this country and were therefore, rather expensive to buy.  One never threw away a worn out garment without cutting the buttons off.  Many were mother-of-pearl, bone, crystal, leather, precious metals like silver or gold.  Precious memories for me. 

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Week

My husband surprised me yesterday with an armful of flowers from my favorite florist, Autumn Rose.  He had to get some medical testing done today and he wanted to make sure he didn't get left-over flowers.  We exchanged cards today and we're going out to dinner tomorrow night.
We can be forgiven for being so gushy about Valentine's Day.  We didn't find each other until 9 years ago (we were both over 50 and were on our second time around.)
Last week I applied a decal to our family room wall - author unknown. (I searched the web.)
"Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take but by the moments that take our breath away."


Sunday, February 12, 2012

Knitting for Me

January has been called "Knitting for Me" month.  Well, it's February and I'm still baby knitting.   Knitters have started to hang a name on the time period after the holiday knitting rush is over.  I don't participate in holiday knitting.  That kind of pressure could really take the joy out of Christmas for me.  I'm all about the joy!

After completing a sweater and blanket for the grandbaby born in November, I'm now smack-dab in the middle of knitting a project for the next baby coming next month.  So much so that I almost forgot to take a picture of the scarf I made last fall.  It's knitted from a blend of wool and silk, a fiber combination that's a bit glossy and nice and warm.  I love, love, love Solo Silk from Brooks Farm in Texas.  After the baby knitting is finished I'll be making a shawlette out of their Willow (wool and bamboo).  By the time that's off the needles, maybe it will be time to play in the dirt.

Friday, February 10, 2012

More Puppy Love

Babies aside, I can't think of anything more lovable than our little four-legged children.  Our little girl was born the month my husband and I got married and she came into our lives 4 months later after we lost our older cocker spaniel who had come to the end of her long life.  We missed her so much we had to fill our broken hearts and this girl did.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Spring? Taking Bets...

I admit it  I've got spring fever.  It comes on slowly.  First I start looking at seed catalogs.  Then I listen to gardening podcasts and looking through blogs.  The pencil comes out, I sketch a bit.  Wrap up in a sweater and take a walk out to look at the Shooting Star Hydrangea that I got for Christmas 2010 and put in the ground last spring.  It grudgingly bloomed but I really didn't have much hope for it.  I'd never seen one before so I really thought it was one of those grocery store holiday teasers.  You know the type --they look good for Christmas but don't count on being able to keep them alive past February.  The little darlin' has leaf buds and it's very much alive with no protection from me, it's mommy.  I take a stroll past another hydrangea which is going to have to be dug up and moved godknowswhere since it sits in the perfect spot for the future pool filter.  Moving on to what's left of the vegetable garden.  Brussel sprout and kohlrabi plants sitting quietly in a nice, neat row just waiting.  This is Connecticut, zone 7.  They shouldn't still be alive in February.  They're not really growing - they seem to be in suspended animation like a hibernating animal.  Not quite alive but definitely not dead.  It's been a strange winter so far.  Will it really pass us by completely?  March is a long month and if it's a wet one it can be brutal.  So, to make myself feel better, I ordered some seeds from Renee's seeds.  One of the things I'm going to plant this year is Hyacinth Bean.  When my husband and I went to Rhinebeck in October for the NY State Fiber Festival, one of the walkways had a beautiful display that included oak leaf hydrangea's growing side by side with Hyacinth Bean Vine trellised up some posts.  The bean pods looked like burgundy leather and the hydrangea had started to change from white to a pale wine color.  The Hyacinth Bean flowers were still blooming.  I was quite taken by the colors which looked so vinyard-y together.  Very lovely companions. You can buy some at Botanicalinterests.com or Renee's Garden seeds.

Friday, February 3, 2012


We have a 10 week old grandson.  He looks like his daddy and he looks like his grandpa Al, my late husband, father of my two grown children, who passed way 10 years ago.  It amazes me when I look at him.  I know about DNA and inherited physical traits.  This doesn't take away anything from my wonderful relationship with my new husband and step-son and the families we've blended into the group we've become.  We took what we had left, both of us, and  allowed the love between us to create this group of individuals who celebrate life together.  Little Andrew makes me take a step into the past and look back.  It brings my former life with his biological grandfather into my present life with his new grandfather.  The babies don't know the difference.  Papa is Papa, blood-ties or not.  I love that. That we can take the tragedy of my late husband's premature death, acknowledge and remember him, and continue into the next generation and generations to come is a symbol of hope.  The little ones represent the future.  May God bless them.