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

Friday, September 26, 2014

Chouette chouette

I studied the french language all the way through elementary school and high school. That's 12 years, and more than half of my life by the time I graduated at the age of 17. We didn't learn much slang. Conjugating verbs was challenging enough. I know, as time goes on, street slang is added to every day language. "Cool" describes the temperature but just as often it describes something nice, wonderful, awesome (ugh...), terrific. It's a temperature - something can also be smok'in hot. I get it. But where did the French ever get the idea that the same word for "owl" should also be used as an alternative to "cool" or "smashing" or ugh..."awesome"!  I knitted a little "Chouette" for my 2 year old grandson (at his mom's request). I assumed la chouette was the french word for owl...I thought perhaps it meant "baby owl" so I looked it up. It was not a vocabulary word that was filed away in my brain somewhere. "Ou est la chouette?" "La chouette est tres belle." Nada. I finished it in a couple of days. It's a cool owl.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Passive Gardening

I did plant a few things in my garden this year. One was one hill of Charentais melons. They are a French heirloom that I bought from Baker Creek Seed Company. The reason I decided to try to grow Charentais was first, because they had a short growing season and I had a pretty good chance of ripening some before it got too cold. And second, because they were described as very sweet and a green market favorite. I'd never even seen one and wondered how I'd know when they were sweet. Have no fear - all you have to do is sniff. They are like a small, honey sweet cantaloupe without the netted skin. They have small seeds, they're very juicy and I had half of one for dessert last night.

Now this big boy was a complete surprise. It took me a while to figure out what he was and where he came from as I certainly didn't plant him. When I first saw the huge leaves and aggressive vines start to pop up, I thought for sure he was going to be spaghetti squash from the mistake I made a few years ago - before I was in the habit of buying one every week. I planted too many and they took over the whole patch. I couldn't even give them away. When it appeared that the squash hanging from my fence was a pumpkin, I was totally surprised but I let him live. He bullied his way through the cucumbers (who fought back valiantly with a crop I couldn't keep up with). But he was on his own. No other pumpkins evolved from those giant flowers.
 So, gradually, through the summer, my pumpkin turned from a pallid white to a creamy tan. And then I knew what he was and how he got into my garden. Two years ago I bought a lovely Long Island Cheese pumpkin from my local grocer. I bought it to sit on my doorstep because of its perfect shape and color. By Christmas, of course, he was compost and I never thought of him again. Until this summer when he arrived, unexpectedly in my garden patch. He's perfectly formed because he's another heirloom variety.

And boy, didn't I break my back to get all these lovely figs. Well, I did have a bit of trouble transplanting the tree into a larger pot when it kept falling over last summer. It was my son who actually worked the hardest when he picked the pot up out of the garage in May and dropped it next to the patio. I watered, spread some organic fertilizer and voila, figs!

When it's time to make my Blackberry Vodka, I'll show you my harvest from my canes. It's in the freezer for now. I think I need to put my feet up and knit for a while.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Anticipating Autumn

Anticipating Autumn


....doesn't have quite the ring to it as...

......waiting for Spring, does it?

.....while we wait for a birth...."they're awaiting the stork"...

.....it's been said that one anticipates a hurricane, snow, a death...
sorry to sound so dreary, but

....I shush my husband when he mentions that the pool must be closed up before the leaves fall

.....and we've had our last party for the Summer

.....and I'm anticipating being cold and needing a new sweater...