March in the Garden | Flowering Success

IMG_9453 IMG_9456 IMG_9459 IMG_9463 IMG_9468 IMG_9478 IMG_9479 IMG_9528 IMG_9533 IMG_9535 IMG_9536 IMG_9541 Since there appears to be no March showers to bring April flowers, the plants have decided to make their big show early. There are flowers everywhere. From wild tiny purple flowers in freshly mowed fields, to neglected rose shrubs, to carefully pruned lilacs and promises of blooms from nurtured fall planted seedlings.

Eleven years ago I planted sweet peas and breadseed poppies with great success and have been trying to recreate that ever since. The one big hangup these past years was that three babies arrived taking center stage in my attention. This is the first growing season where I haven’t had to constantly follow a little one around. All three of them run in a pack outside now without needing my constant supervision. So I was able to spend my energy towards planting snapdragons, sweet peas, poppies and echinacea late last summer and they are all growing and thriving in their new raised beds. This is the best round of sweet peas I’ve ever grown, just look at the size of those leaves! I can’t wait until they bloom.

The secret of my success so far was in putting agribond over the beds in fall until the seedlings got large enough that the birds and bugs couldn’t do much damage. I also watered them throughout the winter with diluted sheep manure tea. Yum.

Those raised beds have been a tremendous success for us. I’m so very glad Scott built those because we’ve been able to get back into our groove of gardening success.

Sprouting in trays waiting to be planted are summer zinnas and marigolds.

How are things growing in your neck of the woods?

Knitting and Reading : : Life Lessons

IMG_9510 My goodness. I made a sort of a new years resolution that I wasn’t going to knit any sweaters this year. I typically like a long, constant project like a sweater. This year was going to be different. This year I wanted to play around with textures and new stitches that I hadn’t tried before. This year I was going to knit smaller, faster working projects. This year was to be dedicated to using up all those single skeins of lonely yarn sitting in my stash basket.  And so this year began and I cast on for this beautiful little hat full of texture.

Now what I hadn’t learned back six weeks ago, is that in order to knit small projects, you must always be one step ahead of yourself. Because a hat can be finished in a few days (or less) you need your next project all ready to go. Choosing the next project for me is a long process involving much obsessing on ravelry and trips to the yarn store which is far enough away that I must make an afternoon of it. It takes me many days to choose a new project. This space between projects, it can be an enjoyable process or it can be a hinderance when you least expect it.

Because when you finish a beautiful, quick little hat one day, and the very next day your mother suddenly passes away, you are left to grieve without that one comfort you depend upon in your daily life, knitting. And that is where I was left exactly one month ago today. Sitting with a finished hat, in the ER, my soul filling with the most horrible sorrow imaginable, and nothing to knit. Nothing. It may sound strange to admit how lost I felt without something to knit during a time of grieving, but there you have it. When you are left without your constant daily habit during a time when your most constant of constants has left this world, you are left feeling completely lost and ungrounded.

It’s taken me this full month to even want to think about finding a new project. And it’s taken me this full month to find my voice here again. In this month I’ve learned something. Well, honestly I’ve learned a lot of things, but this truth is relevant to this space. I’ve learned that I am a knitter of sweaters. I am a knitter who likes the commitment of long term projects. Hats, mittens and smaller projects can be thrown into the mix, but I need that reliable large project to return to at days end.

My very last post was a photo of a chalkboard that I keep on my mantle with the quote, ‘Enjoy this Life.’ written on it. Garrison Keillor said that at the end of one of this Prairie Home Companion stories last year and it’s stuck with me. My mom was the first to comment saying, ‘Amen!’, she died just four days later. I couldn’t think of a better post to have sitting front and center for the last month.

Enjoy this life. Amen!
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(cardigan: Fairwind. reading: strangely enough was reading Diane Keaton’s ‘Then Again‘ her autobiography twisting together the tales of her own life along with her mothers life and death. good enough book if you are a Diane Keaton fan, but not a must read.)

{ this moment }

Enjoy this Life{this moment} ~ Joining Soulmama’s Friday ritual. A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

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What We’re Doing in the Garden this Month

February in the garden! Today I can report in my garden bullet journal that there is indeed rain today! Hallelujia. Those who live around here know already that we didn’t get much of any rain in January, I think maybe one day we received a slight drizzle. Folks I ran into this morning seemed happy…

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Knitting and Reading | Shawls and Signatures

Notes from the knitting nest: This is where, almost every night without fail, I curl up after the children have gone to bed to knit. The CVM sheep skin, that I bought from the Fibershed Wool Symposium, to my back, the light blue throw on my lap and knitting in my hands. It’s not a…

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My Secret to a Tidy House : : Stay Out of It

Last winter, due to various family affairs, we called in a house cleaner to come and clean for us every two weeks. She’s been a lovely addition, but as she is quite pregnant (don’t worry, she’s been bringing a helper the last few months) we will soon be without her for a while. She came…

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Before the Sale Ends on Monday | DIY Bundle

Today in the mail I received a Viili Yogurt Starter from Cultures for Health. It’s a unique Finnish yogurt start that allows you to culture the yogurt at room temperature. I’m pretty excited to try it, because a lot of my hesitation in making yogurt is keeping it at that finicky 110 degrees for 12…

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Knitting & Reading about Home Grown Boys

I guess sometimes I take my self too seriously in the knitting department. I start most knitting projects with careful research on how the pattern is written. Is it written in a way that I will enjoy the process? Will I learn something new? What about the design? It’s not too trendy. I hope it…

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January in a Sonoma Garden

January in this Sonoma Garden + fun links

The bad news is that we haven’t had any rain since our early December deluge which has folks all over worrying that that was it for our rainy season. The good news is that there have been plenty of lovely days to get outside and prune. Each and every day I get out and I…

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