The Saturday Update: Weeks 17 and 18

Life has just been kicking my butt for the last few weeks. I have been insanely busy and struggling with my health. I need to write a whole different post (from the Blue-Lipped Zebra) to talk about what’s happening, but the short version is… we are closing in on the cause of my blue-faced breathlessness and physical therapy is a good thing, but it sure does hurt!! The weather has just been absolutely crazy here; snow, then warm days into high 80’s, followed by days of rain and another winter storm warning has just been posted for the next couple of days. Tonight there is some debate about snow… all the potted plants on the deck need to move into the garage for the night AGAIN. In spite of the weather I managed to repot lots of plants, weed and clear gardens, and also got some yard work done this week. I filed my taxes and cleaned out the office. Anyway, all of this is to explain whine about why there was very little reading or knitting going on…

So I really didn’t do a lot of stuff to blog about, but I captured some good photos during the two weeks.

With all of the crazy weather and cold snaps I thought that we may have missed the the majority of spring blooms. Nope! This week the color exploded in trees everywhere and they are looking good! Other trees in the neighborhood are full of squirrels; there are baby squirrels bouncing around in the tree in my front yard and Hannah is just over the moon with the excitement of watching them. The phlox in the front is now blooming and yesterday the buds on my trees suddenly burst open (just in time for that snow tonight… sigh). Best of all is the pair of geese that are settling down to nest at my local library. I just love Canada geese! Why look at that… spring really has arrived!!

We’ll just ignore the winter storm warning for today and Tuesday…

Knitting

I started a couple of new projects but they are still at the very early, kind of pathetic looking, stage. The project on the left is the beginnings of my Noncho (Casapinka) that is going to be a perfect layering piece for me in the cool evenings. I’m thinking that I should have some matching arms warmers too, don’t you think? The scrap of knitting on the right is the beginning of my Ranunculus (Midori Hirose). Someday it will look wonderful but it still has a way to go. I am also working along on some mitts and a pair of socks, but they are making little progress at the moment. As soon as life settles down some I’ll get more done.

Garden

Isn’t that squirrel on the base of my front ash tree cute? He is cute, but he is one of the many squirrels living in my next door neighbor’s tree. This tree, a Russian olive, is a cautionary tale of the unintended consequences of introducing species to new habitats. I guess this tree does just fine in Europe, but here in my region of North America (the state of Colorado in the US) it is classified as an invasive species. Basically a huge weed, this tree reproduces all over the neighborhood as baby trees appear everywhere, and if not removed the trees clog waterways and cause havoc in general. Part of the problem is… squirrels! The tree produces berries that the squirrels love to eat and the branches are just perfect for them to build their nests in. Even better, they are able to pull long strips of bark off the trunk to use as nesting material; the perfect home, this tree has eight squirrel nests in it!! My ash tree is within convenient jumping distance to the olive tree and serves as a perfect link in Squirrel Route One as the squirrels travel overland through trees, across roofs, and down fences providing Hannah hours of entertainment as she watches them. The squirrels carry olive fruits to far flung locations and bury them, and other bits of food that they come by, EVERYWHERE! The ground around my ash tree is all dug up with the squirrel caches and I have to pull up seedlings each year. Right now I have mothballs on the disturbed soil to discourage digging but I decided to sprinkle some Critter Ridder onto the soil to continue to discourage the little guys from digging. I headed off to my local Home Depot to get some, and… came home with the rose and the hydrangea instead. What can I say? As soon as I saw those hot, bright colors I just had to have them and all thoughts of pesky squirrels just flew out of my mind. That rose is just as bright as the picture seems and is called an Autumn Sunblaze. It is a miniature rose and I plan to keep it in a pot on the deck until fall. The hydrangea is a wonderful hot pink that I’ve never seen before, so… into the cart it went! The colors make me happy and I think even the squirrels are excited about the new plants as I’ve caught them checking them out on the deck. (They were probably looking to see if they could dig in the soil to cache some purloined garbage pickings from the neighbors, but I’m giving them the benefit of the doubt here…)

I still went back to Home Depot for some grass seed and the Critter Ridder the next day. Squirrels are cute, but they need to stop digging up my lawn!

Also, I noticed some other colors of Sunblaze roses that I want to look for. There is a dusty pink variety…

Books

I finished the Wayfarers series over these last two weeks. These are great books; interesting and thought provoking. They are rather slowly paced, but worth the time as the story slowly evolves with the characters as they confront their situations, assumed truths, and make changes in their perceived identities and courses of action. These are not adventure books, but rather social commentaries for our own time contained within futuristic settings where individuals from wildly different cultures, body types, and evolutionary pathways interact with each other. Good stuff for those who relish that type of book.

Have a great week, everyone!

Read a little, knit a little, and garden like your heart can’t live without it.

Author: Midnight Knitter

I weave, knit and read in Aurora, Colorado where my garden lives. I have 2 sons, a knitting daughter-in-law, a grandson and an exceptionally spoiled kitten. In 2014 I was diagnosed with a serious rare autoimmune disease called systemic sclerosis along with Sjogren's Disease and fibromyalgia.

20 thoughts on “The Saturday Update: Weeks 17 and 18”

    1. They make my heart sing, too. The geese come here to winter and there are huge numbers of them crowding the lakes and ponds. They are all gone now except for the occasional couples who have remained to raise their families here and the truly lazy ones who crowd onto the beaches at the swim areas looking for chow from humans. πŸ™‚

  1. I think it is great that you may get answers about your blue lips/breathing. It has to a relief to know understand the cause. Our weather has been pretty wacky, too. We’ve gone from 80s to snow, too, and everything in between. I don’t bother to set my pots out until late May because of our unpredictable weather. Yard work starts for me next week. I have to finish up tax season, first. You have definitely gotten a lot done in your yard! I debated casting on a Noncho but I stopped myself. I am doing the KnitCircus 5k so that will keep me busy from now through the end of summer. Since I am terrible at taking time for myself, this is hopefully going to get me back into a rhythm of knitting regularly. Plus, I am using only stash yarn (thanks to your stash busting posts). I love the colors you picked for your Noncho and I can’t wait to see how your Ranunculus progresses. Hopefully, the winter storm warning means some serious knitting time.

    1. I have to put myself together to blog about it, but the answer is almost certainly another rare and unexpected condition that absolutely fits what is going on. The test that will confirm the diagnosis is still two weeks out and it is hard waiting for confirmation; it is also messing with my ability to knit!! It is also making me do yard work, so there is that, πŸ™‚

      I went crazy and bought a lot of yarn in the fall but I am back to knitting the stash again. There is a kind of self-righteous joy in being able to create stuff that is pretty darn cool without buying anything new. I have discovered that i need to wander through my pattern library to get alternatives in mind before I go stash shopping. It is when I have one absolute idea stuck in my mind that I run into trouble and get a credit card out…
      Serious winter storm knitting is the plan!!

  2. We have Slovenian Grebes and some other migratory birds arrived already but the geese are likely another week away for us here. What a racket they make on their way over our house.

  3. I think my next sweater is going to be the Ranunculus. I have had my eye on it since it was released. I am sorry the last few weeks have been difficult. I hope there are better days ahead for you. xoxo Regina

    1. I noticed Ranunculus in the Ravelry feed but didn’t understand the potential until I actually clicked on the pattern and looked at all the options. This is an extremely versatile design that I’m hoping will work for me in a short sleeve version with fingering yarn.

    1. Yesterday while driving to pick up a ham (almost as good as bacon in my opinion!) there was a pair of geese with the little goslings. So cute!! I love this time of year.

  4. I’m glad to hear that you are closing in on your breathing struggles. I hope you start to feel better, soon. Your weather is crazy! How can you possibly plan with such variations? I love your nursery purchases, though. You made some beautiful choices. I didn’t know about that invasive tree, but I understand the misery that the wrong species can bring about to an ecosystem. New Zealand, Hawaii, and other places have spent decades trying to eradicate invasive species, both plant and animal, in order to restore order.

    I’m glad you’ve found time for a bit of reading and knitting. I hope your spring weather arrives before the summer solstice!

    1. I think that they have it this time. I’m at the computer writing about it right now. The weather is so crazy that I have been dragging plants in and covering the roses one day to protect them from a hard freeze only to worry a couple of days later about watering outside. I need to reseed part of the lawn and I’m not quite sure when I should do that because… crazy weather.

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