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Archive for the ‘spring’ Category

Some pictures I took yesterday while walking around Furryland…

White Weigela

White Weigela in back of our house. 

Clouds

Beautiful clouds rolling by.

Skink with a red head

A red-headed skink hanging out with his/her buddy…

Skink with stripes

… striped skink! 

Pink Dianthus that my youngest picked out at a local nursery.

Pink dianthus that my youngest picked out for our side entrance garden.

Montego Wind Hibiscus

The most beautiful hibiscus I’ve ever seen, called Montego Wind, which is gracing the small deck at our side entrance.

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Pink WeigelaUpon completing our normal daily routine (chores in the morning, then homeschooling, then play), the boys and I went outside with our gardening gloves ready to do some more weeding on the area that my DH had started on last Sunday. We didn’t get very far before my teen yelled, “Look! A snake!”

Right under our front steps was a very small (maybe 18-24″ long) Eastern Garter Snake. Dare I say he was cute? Well, he was, and my teen was very excited. So much so that he ran and found a stick, then a bucket, and then crawled under the steps to catch him. Nope… I couldn’t let him do it. But I did have him run in the house and get my Nikon. Here he is:

Juvenile Eastern Garter Snake

Nana came over with her Nikon after he ran and got her too. After putting up with us blinding him with our flashes for a time, he slithered to the block foundation and disappeared in the ivy. He completely vanished without a trace! After closer inspection under the ivy leaves, we found the hole where he escaped. Safe and sound! I hope he grows big enough to be a nice rodent-catcher when he grows up!

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Spring projects

Zebra butterflyAfter checking the weather forecast for this weekend, I don’t think we’re going to follow through on our original plan for this weekend, which was to do some landscaping and gardening. The local news station is claiming we could get up to 3″ of rain in a storm which could turn into a Nor’easter. I’ll believe it when I see it. We never get what the meteorologists forecast.

Our original plan for the weekend included visiting Lowe’s and getting a couple of green weeping willow trees (that they have for a whopping $16.99 for each seven- or eight-foot tall tree), mulch, sand, landscaping pavers, retaining wall blocks, some weed killer and some perennials. We want to finish off our barbecue patio that we started at the back of the house so there will be a nice, relaxing area outside for us to enjoy during the summer.

Sounds great, doesn’t it? On a warm, sunny day, I can just picture myself sitting out there on a lounger knitting something while the boys kick the soccer ball around in the backyard or have fun in the playhouse. The birds are singing, the butterflies are fluttering around, my DH is near me grilling something yummy for dinner, and life is just sweet…. ahhhh….

Ok, enough daydreaming. I can do that now, but it wouldn’t be so perfect. Our patio is teeny tiny at best; just enough room for the barbecue grill and someone to do the cooking. It definitely needs enlarging, and that’s one of our spring projects. And hopefully before the end of this year, there will be a nice screened in porch off the front of the house.

The photo is one of my pictures taken when we were at Disney last January. I got so excited when I saw it just fluttering around because I’ve never seen one in the wild (they don’t travel as far north as Furryland). Interestingly, according to Wikipedia, the zebra butterfly is poinsonous if ingested because their main food is the passionfruit, which contains cyanide. Did you know that?

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Bradford pear treeFor those of you reading this, I added the third day of our trip to Disney on our Disney page, although I haven’t decided how to alter the layout. Check it out!

Last night I frogged the crocheted market bag I was working on because when I stopped to check its progress, one side was slanting out in a “v” shape, while the other side was straight. I obviously made a mistake somewhere, but that’s what I get for trying to make the bag a little larger than the pattern called for. I will start this again, only this time I will adhere to the pattern directions.

My adventures in sock knitting didn’t get very far yesterday. I learned those two new cast-on methods, but then I couldn’t find a pattern that I wanted to use that would be simple enough for a beginner. Toe-up, two-at-a-time, ribbed sock leg simple. Is there such a pattern? If you know of one, please let me know. At the present time, all I have is the Internet to find patterns as I have no sock pattern book. Hopefully, that will change soon though!

I have not made anything for the Sticks for Chicks-along at getstitchy.com that I signed up for this past month (links in the sidebar). Firstly, I didn’t have the right yarn for the project I wanted to make, and secondly, there are too many things I want to do during a day (which means there are not enough hours in the day) for me to get anything crafty done. Eventually, I plan on making what I had intended for this -along, but it’s not going to be done this month, or next, for that matter.

Cody wondering why I’m taking a picture of him playing with the sandSpring is here, and so the boys and I spend a great deal of time outside when the weather is nice. We’ve been cooped up in the house for most of the winter, and we’ve just gotta get out! A couple nights ago, we (including my DH, MIL, BIL and his two DDs) had an impromptu family gathering at our playhouse and cleaned out the sandbox together. That’s something that rarely happens, but it’s probably one of those little things that will stick to my memory for many years to come. While we were cleaning out dead leaves and yanking dead weeds from both inside and outside the sandbox, the kids were all playing happily together, and at dusk a bat came to flit about our yard hunting for insects. The mosquitoes are already out, so we were cheering on its efforts. Hopefully the bat ended its hunt with a tummy full of those vicious critters.

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Spring has officially arrived!

No words can express the joy I feel inside right now knowing that winter is over and spring has begun. What? The first day of spring is tomorrow? No. It’s today. Really! At least on one of my calendars. The other one marks it as March 21st.

Spring begins on the 20thSpring begins on the 21st

Royal Star Magnolia bloomsThat’s not all! If you do an Internet search for ‘first day of spring’, you get a list that’s divided over when the actual first day of spring is, but it IS either today or tomorrow, March 20th or March 21st.

When the vernal equinox occurs, the sun is directly above the equator. According to Wikipedia, “… the Forsythia buds and bloomsequinox happens when the Sun is at one of two opposite points on the celestial sphere where the celestial equator and ecliptic intersect. In a wider sense, the equinoxes are the two days each year when the center of the Sun spends an equal amount of time above and below the horizon at every location on Earth.”

Maple tree budsIt seems that this year, only God knows when spring begins, and that’s good enough for me. Here in Furryland, we have made it official that today’s the day! Baby birds will soon be cheeping, flowers will soon be blooming, the trees will bud and bring forth their shiny new leaves, and the warmth of the sun will increase. Time to find my gardening tools…

May your feet never sweat,
your neighbor give you ne’re a treat.
When flowers bloom, I hope you’ll not sneeze,
and may you always have someone to squeeze!
~ Irish blessing

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Corey on his bike after we took the training wheels off.What a wonderful day it is! The sun is out and the temperature is supposed to get up to at least 74 today!  This kind of weather makes we want to get outside and do some yard work, dig in the dirt and plant something. Something that will grow big and strong, such as a nice shade tree.

Maybe after the boys are done with their schoolwork, we’ll go bike riding. Corey’s getting really speedy on his little bike! A couple weeks ago when we had another warm day, he tried to ride without his training wheels, but it made him a lot less confident and he kept losing his balance. It won’t be long before they can come off and stay off though!

Knitwise: I finished three long, furry, chunky scarves that I just took pictures of. Each took four days, except the last one, which only took three. Then my 13-year-old, Cody, decided he wanted to make a long, chunky scarf too, so he did! His only took two days and he used two skeins of Lion Brand Jiffy Thick & Quick. The colorway in his yarn made this interesting argyle pattern. I am trying to do some stash-busting, and he’s helped me! We’re calling it the craft/art/home economics elective for his homeschooling curriculum…

Up a treeThen I had this crazy urge to pick up my hooks again and start crocheting. It has been about a year since I’ve done so. About two months ago, I went to Barnes & Noble and purchased Stitch ‘n’ Bitch Happy Hooker, and have been eyeing some of the projects in there. I decided to make the One Skein Scarf and it turned out perfectly! My poor, pathetic unfinished afghans are jealously waiting in the closet to be picked up again. I think I’m going to rip them out and wind up the yarn though…. they’re so old, they even smell like it! Ugghhhhh…

In the scarf picture from left to right: A simple, double-crocheted, double-stranded6 scarves
gray & blue acrylic scarf (not too long because I ran out of the gray I had – 1 ball of yarn down!); knit garter stitch Skacel Sofa scarf; Lion Brand Thick & Quick Chenille & Bernat Disco (shiny fur) hot pink knit garter stitch scarf; Lion Brand Jiffy Thick & Quick (color #209 Catskills) with royal blue Fun Fur knit garter stitch scarf; Cody’s big garter stitch scarf (the same as the one beside it, except wider with no fur); and lastly, the crocheted burgundy One Skein Scarf from SNB Happy Hooker.

 New page added: I promised Disney pictures from our vacation but I decided to take it a step further. A whole new page has been added to our blog and it’s [going to be] devoted to our whole trip. The link is in the upper right corner… check it out! (I just started writing on it and will be adding to it in sections, but the first day is done. Please be patient, and stay tuned!)

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