Friday, June 27, 2014

The aroma of sage

As I water the two Russian Sage plants, the softest sage fragrance is sent forth; it's delightful.  I discovered that these plants start growing from the base every spring, and once they start, they make fast progress.  I think these plants will start shooting out their flowery lavender spears pretty soon. 

The pots of flowers I planted are starting to fill in.  They loved the rain from a couple nights ago. If I keep giving them fertilizer, they should do fine!    

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Sooty flight to freedom

At first, I thought the startling noise I heard was a mouse ...  maybe in the wall?  Scratching around.  So, I tried to locate it, but every time I'd move around the house to find the spot, the noise would stop.  I could just see, in my imagination, a little mouse just creating a mess, wherever he was.  And the scratching and tinging (near a sauce pan??  in the cupboard??) continued! 

Finally, I happened to be in the right place at the right time, and realized that something was in my wood stove!  With the door closed, I couldn't see in, and I was scared to look!  I could just imagine that nasty mouse jumping out at me, since that was the image I couldn't shake from my mind.  But a mouse in the wood stove?  How would he get in there? Well, they do show up in the darnedest places!

My fear was that I would have to just wait till "it" died in there, and then I'd get it out.  But I shared my story with Kris F. last night over the phone, and she said, "I bet it's a bird. I've had to get TWO out of my fireplace this spring, and I've got a great invention for capturing it."  

A bird??  Of course!  A bird isn't nearly as icky as a mouse... so if it could be saved, that would make me feel so much better!  Kris offered to drive over immediately and check it out.  I took her up on the offer.  She did say that it could be a bat...and that wouldn't be so good; we might not want to tangle with a bat.

Between the two of us, we put a piece of chicken wire (yea for having bits and pieces of fencing around the place) in front of the opening as we opened the wood stove door.  With a flashlight we could see the bird...and boy was it fired up, flapping for freedom and stirring up a cloud of ashes in our faces. 

When we took the screen away, and Kris attempted to capture it in her basket, the bird made a desperate move for freedom and got away, flying into the room, right toward the dining room windows.  Kris shrieked!  (Expletive deleted.) It took a couple of tries, but because the bird was determined to get out the window,  Kris trapped it against the glass by covering it with the basket.  Then, we put a board between the glass and basket, and got the scared, sooty bird trapped enough to get it outside.  And away it as a missile.  It looked the size and shape of a robin, but having spent all day trying to escape the ash-filled stove, the actual coloring was indistinguishable. 

Yea for Kris' expertise and help!!  The crisis is over!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Summer schedules get crazy...

It's summer!  I've been waiting...and now it's here.  So many activities get penciled into my schedule.  I love it, but other my blogging...get put on the back burner.  But, I will have some fun things to write about when I get to it.  Or at least that's my plan.

My knitting continues.  I still have found time in the evenings to click the needles and add more rows.  One sock is finished!  Yea!  It's always at this point that I think, "I should have knit two socks at one time!"  But, I like this pattern, so I'll soon get started on sock no. 2. 

The weather.  It's on the news nightly, and I sure feel for those folks in Nebraska and Minnesota. The last storm to blow through a couple days ago left fresh snow, yes snow, in the mountains.  Thankfully, the melting has been slow and steady, and the rivers have not been too much over the banks.  Some scattered showers...and wind... are pretty normal for June. I think our summer temps are right around the corner.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014


One of my favorite wildflowers grows right here on my property amongst the sagebrush: Arrow leaf balsam root. From what I'm hearing and reading, the foothills in our county are in full bloom with this bright wildflower.  It would be a good time for a road trip!

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Cotton projects

I'm still working on the cotton projects: socks and shell.  Cotton is such a nice fiber to work with as the temps warm up. 

I started the sock on a weekend trip, and it's coming right along.  The pattern is assuming I'm using double-pointed needles.  However, I like using two circular needles to knit socks.  So, to accommodate the pattern going down the top of the foot, I've had to split the 66 stitches between the heel stitches on one needle and the instep stitches on the other -- from the heel flap all the way to the toe.  It's been a little awkward for picking up the stitches and knitting the gussets, but it's working out. 

I've got a good start on the back of the shell.  I'm at about 8", and I need 12" before I begin the armhole decreases. 
Summer knitting -- Yea!  I think I have a purple focus this season!

Monday, June 16, 2014

Jammin' at the Gannett Grill

Here's a young ukulele student preparing to play her tune with the teacher.
On Friday, I went to hear some young music students give a little concert on the patio of the Gannett Grill.  What is so cool about it, is that these students are taking guitar, ukulele, and voice lessons from their teacher, and he has been providing several opportunities for them to perform.  He got together a little back-up band for the kids, and they had a grand time performing for family, friends, and those who just dropped in for food and entertainment.  As you can imagine, moms and dads were busting their buttons with pride.  I love supporting live music!!

This young man played guitar and sang several tunes very well.

This little gal plays guitar and sings beautifully.  I know her, as I gave her mom piano lessons!

Friday, June 13, 2014

Flowers in the pot...

Mother's Day and Memorial Day are profitable days at the local garden shops.  I missed both deadlines to purchase and plant flowers; in fact, I just got the job done two days ago!  Sometimes it doesn't pay to get too eager to plant, as the temps dip, the winds blow, and the new blooms take a beating.  But I am now in the safe zone, and my pots of flowers should do fine.  Oh, it's so GREAT to have some pretty petunias in the yard!!

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Spring flowers on the west coast

I love the vibrant colors... a picture taken in San Francisco.

And I am amazed at all the flowering this photo, the beautiful magnolia blossoms.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Yarn on the run...

A gal just has to have a knitting project she can take on the road, on the plane, on a knitting date with the gals.  I didn't have one on the I pulled out a sock pattern I wanted to try: Spring Forward.  (Thanks to Dee)  And I looked through the stash and found a spring-colored yarn that would do just fine. (Thanks to a hot sale on Opal cotton yarn that Nancy S. alerted me to a couple years ago.)  So, gals, you've kept me clicking on some sock projects, and the new patterns keep it interesting.

My little bunny buddy has found a new shady spot to rest after a full morning of nibbling at the wild grasses.  Evidently the little pine tree which struggles to get enough water, is big enough to give my bunny just the right amount of cool shade. That little barrier was supposed to discourage bunnies from getting to the tree.  Hmmmm.... not so effective.   This is the second day I've seen him there. 

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Heart Mt.

I was driving south from Cody; the time was about 8:00 p.m. and the sun was giving the entire landscape a beautiful aspen glow. I looked back at Heart Mountain, and I decided it was worth the stop on the side of the road to take a picture with my iPhone. 

You might remember reading just a few words about the Japanese Camp created during WW II, located at the base of Heart Mt. which I blogged about in May.  They must have felt they were taken to the most remote area they could imagine!

Friday, June 6, 2014 longer

Thanks for the encouragement!  I picked up the needles and finished the front side of the shell.  Wahoo!  And, I think it will be OK. 

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Knitting on hold...

That's right, I haven't picked up the sticks for 3 days!!  That rarely happens.  But, I've had several irons in the fire... and I'm putting off a decision concerning the pattern.  Do I make the armholes a little bigger than called for?  That's what my intuition tells me to do.  But how much is too much?  Would one inch do it?  What if one inch isn't quite enough? I've compared it to other garments.
 I'm pondering the decision.  I have only inches to go before the bind-off...and I'm stalling. 

A bigger opening is certainly better than one that is too small/tight!  Bigger would be OK, as I'll have to wear a cameo under this anyway; I know you can't see the holes/ loose weave in this photo...but trust me.  So, I need to commit to a decision.  However, there's no anxious feeling just looking at this unfinished section, because I haven't made the critical ("oh-oh, too late now") decision... yet.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

It's retirement season...

Graduations and retirements in education... yes, it's that time of the year.
Renee, honored guest, is seated at the left.

Renee retired...and of all of us who were hired the same year, she has stayed with it the longest (41 years!!).  Don't know how she did it.  But, I say, you know when it's time.  And this spring she's throwing in the towel.  However, the event didn't go by without a surprise party -- a surprise that worked out really well.  And of course, her friends and cohorts told funny stories about events in her career, and our music teacher wrote a song (sung with a back up group) that highlighted many funny/embarrassing moments.  It was good fun. 

Monday, June 2, 2014

What a great day...

What a great day to sit in the shade ...

And to enjoy the beauty of spring blossoms.