The Saturday Update: Week 36

I think that I am just about done with 2020. Never, ever has there been a year so ill behaved in my own memory. Today we hit a record high of 100° F where I live, and on Tuesday it is expected to snow. We had another case of bubonic plague in the state. A geyser in Yellowstone National Park, long dormant, has suddenly returned to life. Covid-19 cases are spiking in the states that surround my own. The nightly news continues to be a horror show, and some of it is just downright triggering. There can be no longer be doubt that the current administration is taking action to accelerate the Covid-19 infection rate in the US; stay tuned, folks: our fatality numbers are going to be astounding. Every day brings more tweeted lies and misinformation meant to contribute to racial tensions and general chaos, and the words “civil war” are popping up more often in my social media timeline.  The president was reported to disparage war dead as “suckers” and “losers” this week, and also encouraged his supporter to vote twice. This is just plain historic, but also very painful. I’m totally over living in interesting times.

Some days it is hard to stay cheerful.

But Hannah and I are doing our best. 🙂 Also, I’ve told Hannah that she can’t play with the squirrels because… plague!

Hannah: There’s a squirrel, Kitten Mom!! Let me out, let me out, let me out…
Shameless hussy squirrel chomping down my flowers, oblivious to the intensely focused kitten at the screen door.

This was a hugely productive week knitting-wise. Well, nothing got done, but there was a lot of knitting going on! I am working on a second Far Away Dreams shawl with more yarn from the stash. This mindless garter stitch shawl is perfect and easy to handle while knitting in bed, sucking down oxygen, and listening to an audiobook.

I still have three feet of garter stitch to go before I start on the outer border. I’m going to use a white yarn speckled with blue and black that will be just awesome. Isn’t that a great blue color? Its name is “Denim”.

I also went crazy and cast on a sweater in the middle of the week.

After vacillating between color choices for a couple of weeks I settled on this combo to knit myself a Misurina by Caitlin Hunter.

Misurina has it all going on… cables, lace, colorwork, and some texture too. The original sweater was knit with a single stranded yarn containing a little linen and the gauge was pretty large… 20 stitches per 4 inches. I settled on two colors of single strand yarn that was pretty lofty in my stash and recklessly cast on using size 6 needles last week.

This sweater is knit from the top down and I have just made my way through the lace and am beginning the colorwork. I need to transfer my stitches to a larger size 6 needle, but they are kind of in high demand right now. Hmmm… It may be curbside pickup time at my local yarn store. 🙂
Hannah is a lot of help and is also totally a fan of the cashmere yarn I’m using for the contrast color.

In the background, being knit in chunks when new clues arrive, is my The Sharon Show shawl. If you don’t want to see this, I’m sorry. It really is too good to not show off. It is finally long enough to drape around my shoulders like a shawl which gives you an idea of all the colors and textures going on while this is being knitted.

See what I mean? Texture, lace, crazy stitches you never thought of before all coming together to make a totally fun, cat-crazy experience. Part of the fun is the totally cool and laid back group on Facebook that has been completely supportive of all knitting speeds and color choices.

This shawl and the whole MKAL experience has been the perfect antidote to the crazy world outside my doors. Peace. Joy. Color. Admonitions from Sharon to not be self-critical and to weave in all of the ends!!  Did I mention that each clue comes with a cocktail recipe? One of the best parts is seeing all the color choices of the other knitters: I am so going to have to make another one of these in blues… and maybe earth tones… My Ravelry notes are here.


The weather was cool for several days before the thermostat went back up into the high 90’s. Many of the potted plants were able to recover over the last week, and things are looking pretty cheerful out front again.

All the geraniums along the front walk are blooming cheerfully again.
The mini roses especially are looking good. Poor things. Little do they know that there is snow on the way…

I’m going to bring all the potted plants into the garage for a couple of days and then will go to heroic lengths to cover and protect the front roses to get them undamaged through the cold front and snowfall on Tuesday. Poor roses. The plants took a lot of damage in the spring from a late hard freeze, and here we go with an early one in the fall. 2020, knock it off!!!


Okay, I lost a couple of days reading a book for my book club that was… not good. I refuse to post its picture online and I’m not going to say anything else expect that I’m pretty much done with my book group. NO one else read the book, and they decided to just get together at a restaurant for happy hour and a return to the days when we used to meet in person, and of course that isn’t something that I can do. I was already pretty disgusted with the week when this happened, and not being able to recover the two lost days of my life BECAUSE I READ THIS STUPID BOOK THAT THEY CHOOSE!!! I headed online looking for options. Hey, Barnes & Noble has an online live book club meet up that I could join. They picked a book that I want to read, and people are already online talking about how excited they are to have the book, and that they are reading the book, and that they can’t wait to talk about the book… I’m in!! I love books, and I want to hang out with other people who also love books, and I would also like to talk about the books!!

This is the book for the Barnes & Noble club. I started it last night!

This book is set in Ireland, during WWI and the Great Influenza pandemic. Our heroine is a nurse taking care of young pregnant women who also have the flu in an isolated fever ward. The book is also crazy timely as the disrespect of WWI fallen troops is a hot item in the news this week, and we all know about the pandemic… I’m only a couple of hours into the book, but it is engaging and interesting; I’m a fan! I’m looking forward to the actual meeting and discussions.  I’ll let you know how it goes.

Have a great week, everyone!!

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

Late Update: Just got a warning on my cell phone that there is a MOUNTAIN LION wandering through my neighborhood. Of course there is. It is 2020.

The Pinks of September

I love this time of the year. It is cool overnight and then heats right up during the day. The leaves of the trees are just starting to turn and there are birds flocking in their branches. Something is happening with the light: it is bright, but coming in at a lower angle that is the first hint of the southern winter sun to come. Mostly my garden is done blooming and this is when I decide which plants I want to save and bring inside for the winter.

One thing is for sure. The indoor plants this year will be pink bloomers. I did plant some other colors. I was rocking the orange and yellow in June, but those guys have quit for the year. There was a lot of lavender and purple for awhile, but now there is mostly pink.

Pink daisy.
I have four pots of flowers blooming on my deck by the lounger. The one that is doing the best is that pink daisy. Hmm… I’ve never kept a plant like this inside over the winter. I wonder how it will do?
This lantana is actually three years old. It hangs out with the orchids by a window under a grow light all winter. The leaves drop when it goes back outside in the spring, but it always recovers. It sure is blooming now, so it’s coming back inside for another winter. Look how cheerful it is! Perfect for the gloomy days to come.
I also have four of these pink lantana plants in pots in my front yard. I’m torn about trying to save all of them. It doesn’t make sense to spend a ton of money for grow lights, but they sure are nice plants… I really miss the greenhouse that I used to have connected to my classroom in situations like this.
This geranium is coming to live in my bedroom over the winter for sure. The plant is actually 5 years old and had grown leggy and over 3 feet tall while living inside. I took it back out this year, laid the long branches across the table and let nature take its course. The old leaves all bleached and died in the sun while the plant sprouted lots of new leaves down low on the stems; I cut all the long upper stems off and this is what was left. It started blooming late last month and really looks healthy now.
Baby geranium plants.
Out of curiosity I dipped sections of the cut-back stems in rooting hormone to see if I could start some cuttings. It worked!! Gosh, I really need that greenhouse again. I guess I’ll check the price of grow lights that I can add to the shelves in the craft room. These plants will look great along the front walk next spring.
Even the pink roses are outdoing themselves. My orange roses haven’t a bloom anywhere on them. These Home Run roses, however…

I also have a pot of tea roses that will move indoors. Guess what color they are? Everything that is coming inside is pink. Not exactly the color that I had planned for my winter-time flowers, but these are the ones that will be making the big move. It is just too hard to let the garden go over the winter; I always cling to as much as I can for those months of snow shoveling and gloomy afternoons.

Wait what am I talking about? Winter is the months of spinning yarn, knitting like crazy and baking yummy breads and indoor blooms. Instead of knitting outside in my garden I will be working among my garden plants inside.

Gosh, I really like this time of year. Maybe I can get a deal on the grow lights. 🙂