Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Garden with a View

As I was working on the DP's stories tonight (see here and here), I thought I would post a photo from their garden. Apparently, I didn't take one in August when we were there. We did visit DH's brother's new AZ garden and what a nice spot (treasures from him, here and here)! I think it is a higher elevation, with more sun, more heat, more cold and more sun than we have.
And in this spot, maybe more wind. He says the pallets are to help give the plants some protection. The gourds seem happy with the arrangement.
And the pallets allow for walking among the vines.
Brother cannot visit every day, so he leaves the gardener in residence in charge. Remembering this visit warms me up. I wonder if the garden is under snow now?

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Need Garden Space? Look Up!

Check out this garden (park, really) on the roof of a modern houseboat in Lake Union in Seattle. Also the houseboat to the right. While out with friends in their boat last Sept., I took this photo especially to share with gardener bloggers (just didn't intend to wait so long).
Here is one little alleyway of houseboats (of many). Near one such community (& maybe more) there is a community garden used by those who cannot garden on their roof. The community gardens in Seattle are called P-Patches, named after the first one at Picardo Farm which also has the most wonderful soil in town. I haven't posted pictures of it yet, but here and here are two others I visited last April.
I liked the combination of big and small watercrafts we encountered.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Sunshine in a Glass

Dear Husband (DH) recently returned from visiting his Dear Parents (DP) in parts south of here...way south. He returned with a nice citrus mix from their garden. From one jumbo lemon, like the one behind the glass, and a few small ones, he made lemonade tonight. After one glass, I feel as sun-kissed as the grapefruit there in the front.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Winter Comfort

Some sun and no rain for several days motivated us to trim some brambles in one corner of the property. This area has been behind a fence. Now that the sheep are gone, we've removed some of the fence. The brambles will grow back, but if we keep the area trimmed, it may be manageable. I forgot to take photos, though.

All I want to do now is have a warm dinner, almost ready, and curl up with a quilt. First, here is the quilt I mentioned at the end of this recent post. Grandma G made this for me when I was quite small and I used it for a long time. It is thin and frayed in spots and I've had it tucked away with other treasures in this nice chest made for me by DH's Dad (seen also in this post of the Winter Garden runner). Grandma often tied quilts rather than quilting them. I would hunt the quilt for the strings that needed retieing, especially when I was sick or not sleepy.
The back of the quilt has fabrics I recognized from Grandma's dresses, curtains, aprons and other projects. I loved looking at the different fabrics.

I had a dress made from the red and white fabric with little hearts, used as an edging for the quilt. I think I had a dress or doll dress from the bright green fabric near the bottom right corner above. Its design is little lettuce heads!

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Forest Stories

Sunlit moss in North Bend, Washington, at a wonderful get-away spot that just cannot be captured by the camera. You'll just have to take my word. What a nice, blue sky day. Hopefully we'll see another one tomorrow. Through the middle of the photo is a long-time fallen tree. As a nurse log, it has helped the trees growing on it get a good start and now it is deteriorating and returning to the earth.

Thursday, January 25, 2007



Well, maybe not. How about peanuts? Thanks for the Christmas treats, Red, and the recipe.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

January Surprise

Every day you walk by something and then, finally, one day you actually see it! Tonight, I noticed that this schizanthus pinnatus, poor man's orchid or butterfly flower was rather pleased with its current location.

In Dec., this pot and its dead(?) plant were quickly shuffled from the front porch to the garage. One day, I noticed a few new leaf stalks so I sat it on this bench by a window in the garage. Tonight, I happened to see it was really growing. I'm not even sure we've watered it since moving it inside.
And there might even be some flower buds developing! This was a sweet May Day gift last year. It bloomed and bloomed last summer, even on the shaded front porch. I'd love to have it around another year! Guess I should trim up the dead stuff and let it do its thing.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Meet Maria

Here comes the wet nose just before she plants a kiss! And here is Maria looking for some of the blog love summer Emily, winter Emily and Nikko received. Maria does not like to miss out on anything and, indeed, she was helping me do something with the camera that day.

Maria came with her name from a kitty foster family as she purrs loudly, meows and has all sorts of funny little vocalizations. She was named for Maria von Trapp, the singer. She is now laying in my lap, purring, as she often does when I'm at the computer, or the table, or the sofa...

Emily is the only one that goes outside (an outdoors cat that likes to come in sometimes). Maria, though, can find a cut flower anywhere you think you've hidden it. Depending on what it is, she may then decide to eat it. So a little care & putting away can be required.
I just happened to run across this photo of a younger Maria in 2002 and some of our garden at the former house.

March 2006 kitties here. Surviving the heat here.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Let the Lists (& Fun) Begin

Oh, look - I have seeds!
Gift seeds, so they are sure to be extra special.
Thank you, You!

The Rouge vif d'Etamps pumpkins were on my list, after seeing them last fall on other blogs. And nicely named Jeanette F1 hybrid (organic) carrots, too.

And now I need to start the seed & planting organization lists others are writing about. And then get some seeds started and then, oh my!

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Importance of Garden Variety

The DP's stories are in the works, as planned for January. Just haven't had as much time to spend as hoped. I do try to make some progress even if I only have an hour.

Dad's taped stories are typed, but I'm making the edits he gave me the last time he was here, as well as looking for the missed "s" or "ed" or "is" where it should be "it" that spell catcher just doesn't notice.

This is my not always so helpful assistant.

I hope he won't mind me sharing this story from the 1920s-1930s: "We always had a garden out in the backyard. The only thing that would grow in in that dumb garden was GREEN BEANS. We had to spade it, plant them, weed them, water them, pick them and snap them. Mother was never happy until she had 200 quarts of them canned and down in the fruit cellar. Then we would eat green beans all winter long. I have violently disliked green beans ever since!" Although, later we learn he continued to eat them until the last child (my husband) moved out.

So, helping the garden grow a variety of vegetables is a good idea.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

What snow?

The winter pansies are a little ragged today, but they aren't letting the snows we've had interrupt their special season. They are in the cows here in January and here in November.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Fields of Flowers

I think I've seen this from a plane.

This is the other silk piece I am posting for Anita. It is a quilt top and it isn't from family. I found it at my favorite 2nd hand store and felt honored to give it a home on my library wall. You can see 4 complete squares in the middle of the picture. There are 20 of those squares in total and each is about 17 inches by 17 inches.
Unlike my other piece, this has the same stitches throughout, just in different colors. You can tell by some of the shapes and designs (see the top picture) that ties were definitely a fabric source. And any other silk scrap found, I suspect. The silk is sewn onto squares of old cotton fabric and then the squares where sewn together. It does not have a quilt back and the edges are unfinished. I turn them under and the bottom hangs behind the couch back.
"From the last winter hat mother wore 1902-1903"
This was pinned onto one piece of fabric.

My grandmother would often do a coordinated quilt top design and then a crazy quilt back from all sorts of cotton scraps. As a child, I loved looking at all of the fabrics she used, some I recognized as matching clothes she'd made. I have the quilt she made me when I was very young. Hmmm.... more winter posting ideas.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Bridge of Glass

The Bridge of Glass is a 500-foot-long pedestrian overpass leading to the Museum of Glass in Tacoma, Washington. Part of it is covered with this ceiling of glassworks called the Seaform Pavilion. We enjoyed a late evening visit and it did have an under the ocean feeling to it, especially on the dark night. But as I've been reading the seed catalogs at night, I think I've also been dreaming of my crazy flower patches mixed in the vegetables last year.
The Museum of Glass is a museum, but it also has a hot shop used by resident and visiting artists. We spent hours watching a visiting artist make a sculpture of a pair of old style striped swim trunks. Her process of making each of the stripes and then forming the legs of the trunks was fascinating (as well as the whole process of making it from glass).
At first, we could not tell how she was going to make it happen, but then it started to take on its shape and character. The glass, however, seems to have a mind of its own and the artist was constantly in motion. Why swim trunks?.... She said the swim trunks reminded her of summers at the beach when she was young.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Remember the Cherry Trees?

Ornamental cherry trees, January 11th, 2007.
But not too long from now, they'll look like these as seen on April 5th, 2006. And here is what they provided in Nov.

The yard is still white, but melting is underway. So this may be the last snow picture for a while. I think today was the first mail delivery at our house since Jan. 10th! This is our view from our kitchen window and the patio. I'm recording it for reference in case we have another hot and dry summer.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Blog Blocker

Nikko started sitting on the monitor as a kitten, but she takes up more room now. She'll hang her feet like that anytime she finds a spot that lets her do it too. More of the DP's stories tonight, after Nikko gets removed. Btw...does anyone have a favorite beet variety to grow? I've read all of the descriptions in the catalog and they all say "choose me, choose me." I'd like your opinions.

Monday, January 15, 2007

January 15th Garden

Petunia's Garden
Gate sign from barn warming guest, see other signs here and here. Please stay with me through another snow posting. This isn't our usual form of precipitation or temperature. I have to post pictures to show Petunia what she's missing.
With Wednesday's and Saturday's snow still on the ground, more may be on the way tonight. But by tomorrow night, it could actually rain again (and be above freezing, thank goodness).

Some herbs are checking their contacts and pointing out that this isn't what I promised them. I'm sure I'll pay for it later.

I shall now go cuddle up with a warm blanket and THE catalog.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

A Winter Garden of Sorts

This is for Anita at My Country Cottage Garden. Every time I see her quilted & needlework creations, I think of this little table runner. So, I have taken it out to enjoy for the post holiday/pre-spring season. My Great-Grandmother H. gave it to me. It was either her Aunt or Great-Aunt that had made it a long time ago. I wonder if she made it during the winter when she couldn't garden and needed something colorful. The stitching makes me think of flowers & garden patterns.
It is made from silk, satin and velvet pieces. Scraps I'm sure, some from ties. Maybe coat and hat linings, dresses and who know what else. My G-Grandmother said the plain center was a place for the things usually found on a table. I wasn't willing to do that, so it is adding color in the living room instead.
I have another piece I'll share later in the week. The days past are also on my mind as I have some time to spend with DP's stories today.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

A Break from the Cold

Emily, sunning in the garden last fall.

I needed a break from the gray/white sky and white ground here. It is 24 F / -4 C and I feel warmer just remembering this sunny day.

No one suns quite like a cat.

Friday, January 12, 2007

A Visitor?

It appears the cats had "something" to watch on the snowy patio today. For once, none of them seem willing to talk about it. Raccoons get them excited and we hear all about it, but maybe they have blanked this from their memory. It was too cold out there tonight to try to take better photos or to see if there was more of a trail to follow. I think the Homesteaders sent their visitor over. We may need to start shutting that gate after all!

Wonder who all visits when we don't have snow to record the event?

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Mo(le)guls and Meme

After 10 months of avoiding it, I've been tagged by Frankie at Veg Plot in a meme to list 5 things people (at least bloggers) might not know about me. Then I have to tag 5 others. So, here goes...

1) Thanks to DH, I now have a digital photo frame, just like Bill Gates (ok, mine is only 6.5 inches diagonally). It will be a good way to take my garden to work, including all those hundreds of sunflower and pumpkin pictures I haven't posted... yet.

2) I'm sitting here with a bit of a black eye after having a little "eye work" done on Tuesday (well, on the mogul that developed under my eye). DH is afraid you'll really think it is a nip & tuck, but it's not. No exciting results; hopefully, just no more bump.

3) My garden has its own blog (oh wait, you already know that. I use that for outside-of-the- internet games). How about my secret daytime life is spent in a corporation working with taxes. Who knew?!

4) I did spend one summer working at the Grand Canyon - one lovely daily commute, I can tell you that. Sort of like the old Harvey Girls (but I handled the money, not the food) - I really did answer an ad I saw in the newspaper and I worked for the Fred Harvey Company (or its successor). Dear Boyfriend (i.e. DH) also drove out to visit that summer & proposed!

5) We're really keeping the moles as pets, but don't tell the neighbors.
(If that last one doesn't count, I'm also a transplanted Wichita State University Shocker.)

Now it is your turn, please:
OK, Homesteaders - you've been FISHED, I mean TAGGED
Clodhopper - will take a break from vacation to play too?
Mike, his Allotment and photos-my first garden blog discovery.
Anita and her frosty Country Cottage Garden plus creative sewing.
Wendy, Plot 29 - she gets to live in London AND garden. Check out her shoes!

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Did you hear that?

PG, reading the newspaper: "So what's that noise?"
DH: "What?"
PG: "It must be the furnace. Is that the furnace?"
DH: "No... don't think so."
PG, going to the window: "It's snow!"
Well, snow pellets to be exact. Just surprised to hear it in the house when there wasn't even any wind blowing it against the windows.

Now it has turned to quiet snow but doesn't seem to be slowing down. I & many others hurriedly left Seattle about 4:30pm due to the snow falling there and the fear of being stuck for hours on the way home like many were in the November storm. I encountered about 3 areas with snow my way home tonight and 3 areas with no moisture at all. A few hours later, and now it is here.So the poor winter pansies and cows are back in the snow again (and you can just see that they did have purple flowers on them even after previous winter weather). Here are the cows & other pictures from Nov. (after a night of snow, not just barely an hour). There were other sound effects with that November snow too (per the Nov 30th post). It must be a NW thing.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Just One More...

Another sunflower in January is just what I need! I've intended to post this one ever since September. This is an Italian White Sunflower, from seeds given out at the 2004 Seattle flower & garden show, and quite a nice surprise in the garden last summer. This year, I'll plant them earlier and more of them so I can have some as cut flowers also. This plant was around 4-5 feet tall and had a number of branches with flowers.

The seed packet & my usual catalog says they are thought to be an heirloom variety brought to the US by European immigrants. The catalog also says, though, that they've been observed as a wild desert variety. I didn't research further.

So if you are making your list, maybe you have room for this dainty sunflower.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Happy Birthday, Red!

This flashback to August and Red Sun is in honor of my friend's birthday today. Hope it brings a smile and memories of great times. Better watch out world, 'cause we're only getting started!

I hope you did see this post here some time ago too.

Enjoy the day - PG

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Fishing the Evergreens

So what came of the FISH story (see fish photos here)? Besides giving us the best decorated tree, we had fun figuring out what bait it would take to reveal the instigators. We knew it was all in good fun (& had nothing to do with the cut/chomped wires). I was pondering different questions or techniques to get to the bottom of it and figured the knowing party would be at our house New Year's Eve. A fine time to extract the truth.

DH sounded like a professional fisherman though: "Just wait... not yet... just wait... let's see what happens." Hmmmm..... I'm not so good at that.

Then came the call. DH: "Our tree lights aren't on? You want to take a picture? I'll go check." After he has them working, the neighbors come over.... hmmm .... could it be? They HAD heard all of our tribulations of getting the lights to the top, and then the wire incident. Maybe they knew the tree still needed some tlc.

YES! A few laughs and then a confession. How does DH know this waiting technique will work? Turns out the neighbors had received them as a gift some time ago, had packed them along in a recent move and thought it was time for them to be back in the water, so to speak. (If you want to give them a "way to go" or "better watch out" note, you can visit them at Homesteading in the NW.)

And, yes, the water (err, tree) is fine. No more nasty boxes for them. They need to stay out where they can breath. But when will their time come to move on? Just wait... not yet... just wait ... let's see what happens!

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Petunia Hibernates, Gardener Publishes

Petunia is deep in hibernation about now, I hope. She won't notice that her gardener is working on another project. Surely there will be seeds left in February I can order! Or you will help me out and send me your leftovers. What takes priority over seed ordering and garden planning?

Dear Husband's (DH) Dear Parents (DP) have each been working on sharing stories from their childhood and adult life. One wrote out pages and one made tape recordings. We've been working on getting each of their stories typed and organized into computer files. This has been a long, long term project... and we all hope to wrap it up in January (of course, their stories are still in progress, so wrap it up for now, anyway).

So, I've heard that writing down goals really helps make them happen. Sharing with others even more so. I hope you'll stick with me this month as I try to focus on this project. I also hope it makes any of you even remotely interested in writing your own stories to get started. Sure, our blogs document a lot, but what about all those years before blogs?

I have loved learning about DP's lives especially as children and young adults in the 1920s, 30s and 40s. Day to day life has always fascinated me. Have you seen Carol's (May Dreams Gardens) Grandmother's diary? I also have a box of letters between by Grandparents and my Dad when he was in the Navy, and others who sent cards and letters to my Grandparents. That box is where my Christmas card sentiment and the New Year's card came from.

If you are interested but aren't sure about how to start, there are many resources and tools out there. Some are simple questions to spur ideas, some are examples of how others wrote theirs. If you want to know more, let me know. Most important, is just to start writing it down. Computer files let you go back and tie up loose ends as you need to later.

DPs have some garden related stories included too. Maybe they'll let me share a few to keep Petunia happy in case she checks up on me.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Sweet Northwest, Part II

Remember all of those pink flamingos being blogged and/or ranted about last summer? They even show up in Gingerbread Villages. This one wouldn't last long in the rain, though, as he is made of sugar. This village had a list of creative "I Spy" items to find throughout it.
For this 12th (or is it 11th) day of Christmas, below is another of the villages. It's difficult to photograph the details, but you get the idea. Even the back side of this had scenes going on, and this one had several parts in motion.Happy Twelfth Night!

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Soos Creek Winter Colors

The gift of a Christmas Day walk along Soos Creek.
Some of the color is from the waves of rose hips.