Plant Babies Season 3, and other Signs of Summer

I’m having some frustrations with WordPress right now, which is why the sunset Serengeti picture is on my heading instead of the cherry tree that I wanted to post. Are there any WordPress bloggers out there (free version) with tips on how to work the logistics of the blog layout? It’s not very user-friendly, or maybe I am just blog-design challenged.

Anyway, I have some photos and happenings that I want to share with you.

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This is a shawl in the blocking process, made of natural-colored alpaca from a lovely alpaca-farm lady we met at the Waterford craft fair several years ago. I wanted her yarn so badly but couldn’t afford it, and when she learned we were both students she gave me two skeins for the price of one, plus the shawl pattern, saying “I have kids in college too.” It was so sweet of her and I want to go back this year and wear the shawl and tell her thank you for her investment in young, poor knitters.

This picture also demonstrates the knitter hell known as blocking lace, for non-knitters that means washing a shawl/other lace piece and pinning it down into the shape you want it to be. It involves lots of stretching and measuring and in my case, lots and lots of pins (I don’t have blocking wires). It also requires a large blocking surface. I bought a foam Cars puzzle at Walmart that works wonderfully. But blocking is still one of my least favorite things to do. The shawl is beautiful, though. If you go to my last post you can see a photo of me wearing it, hunched over the log cabin quilt.

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There are also a lot of exciting spring things happening around here. We planted our seedlings (plant babies) a few weeks ago. We got a bit of a late start on them and they aren’t really doing as well as I hoped. But they are holding on. Here’s Robin demonstrating our technique of planting seedlings – using scrap paper rolled and stapled into pots.

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All their lovely little labels….

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Also, I got out in the garden finally this week and planted the early stuff – cabbage, cauliflower, greens (spinach, chard, kale, collards, pak choy), broccoli, and onions.

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The poor shade cover looks a little beat up from last winter…

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Here are the plant babies now. Image

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And a picture of the backyard cherry tree just because (this is the one I kept trying to add to my header). I think the house looks romantic through the cherry blossoms… 

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And speaking of houses, this blog might just become about renovation along with knitting and gardens and such. Because, through a series of amazing circumstances that confirms God’s provision all over again, we now own this: Image

Yes, that is a blue tarp under the snow on that addition roof, and yes, the right-hand porch pillar is shorter than the left. It’s “a bit of a fixer-upper” – to quote Frozen – but it’s beautiful and we feel up to the challenge. Here’s some of the work so far:

 

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New floor joists and new beam and flashing under the window in the family room to replace the areas damaged by water from the leaking addition roof. Robin and our neighbor Steve have been doing everything themselves and they are doing a really nice job.
Before:

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After:

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I’m going to have to learn to take better before and after pictures. They also did a lot of work in the kitchen but I don’t have photos of that yet. We are really, really excited about this house and it’s large backyard. I’ll post some pics of that soon, too. Our community group came over a few nights ago and helped clear some of the brush, cut down a tree, and take down the arbor. Then we ate dinner and roasted smore’s over the brush fire. I see a wonderful summer ahead…

Robin and I are heading up to Camden, NJ tomorrow with a group from our church to do some renovation projects for a partner church up there. I’m excited, but feeling apprehensive because it’s the first time I’ve been on the going end of a short-term mission trip. They make me feel a little queasy. I think the apprehension comes from not knowing whether or not there will be anything for me to do that is actually helpful. But… I’m going to put aside this crazy need to be considered valuable and just go and do what I can and enjoy it. That’s much more healthy anyway.

Until next time…

 

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About simplyactualized

I want to share my thoughts. Specifically, I want to share my thoughts about the adventures of knitting, cooking, and care-taking a large, beautiful house.
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