Garden Notes


So there’s a little room above because I had to give up on the larger pot of cauliflower.  I could never keep them moist, and they never grew past seedling stage.    The pot that did survive is below, and you can see that it’s shaded a bit by the coreopsis.     That kept off the morning sun, and definitely helped.    I also don’t think I added enough compost to the potting soil in the other pot.    So I’m either going to throw that out, or get a couple bags to add before using it again.    We’ll see.


I also rigged up the second tier of the tomato cages and put in the fence post supports today, so they’ll be ready once growth takes off there.

I do find myself doing odd things for gardening.   The above are the plant trays for the indoor plants that are summering in the back yard.    They’re doing well so far.

And below are the freshly washed and sterilized seed starting pots.    I actually have way more than that available in the box (I got a bulk deal), but I wouldn’t have felt right getting rid of these.    So they’re ready for next year.

Knitting Notes

With the addition of: Knitpicks Wool of the Andes in Coal, Bamboo Heather and Camel Heather, Studio Donegal Aran Tweed and Knit Picks Chroma Worsted in Weathervane, I have now added all of the scraps of worsted or aran weight yarn I have hanging around to this blanket.    It’s pretty much crib size right now, but I’m sure I’ll be able to add more quite easily (I have five skeins of unassigned worsted in my stash right now), so I’m going to keep this around and add to it for a while.    We’ll see when I decide it’s done.

I am so close to completing the first Traveling Stitch legwarmer – I’ve done with the calf shaping, it’s pretty much just the upper cuff now.

The Mistresses of Cliveden – Natalie Livingstone

LibraryThing Early Reviewers book.

I’ll admit, I was a little worried about this book based on the preview write up – they’re definitely trying to market this to the Downtown Abbey fan crowd, and have decided to market it accordingly.     I was a afraid it was going to go for a slightly sensationalist bent, but it’s actually a well researched book about this house – built in the 17th century, and five of the women that managed it (the first is a bit of a stretch – Anna Maria Talbot never lived there, but she was definitely an inspiration for the Duke of Buckingham to build it).     Still, these women all have interesting stories, and the history here is an interesting read.

I think my favorite was Harriet, Duchess of Sutherland, who was a very good friend of Queen Victoria, and a political activist in her own right.     (She’s a granddaughter of Georgiana Duchess of Devonshire, and continued in that Whig tradition.)     She’s an interesting person to be so influential in Victoria’s life, and I found that section fascinating.

I do think this is a good book for Downtown Abbey fans, and fortunately, it’s well written and informative.

Saco Heath Preserve – Saco, ME






















Today’s trip was brought to us by my FIL’s Downeast Magazine collection, which I was paging through last weekend.   I had seen something about Saco Heath before (I am a Nature Conservancy member), but had forgotten.    Sadly, we missed what appears to be a rather spectacular Rhodura bloom, but there was plenty of sheep laurel and Labrador tea, and it was a lovely walk.     We will definitely be back.   The preserve’s page on the Nature Conservancy’s website links to a great PDF about the habitat and the plants found there.

The Spirit Ring – Lois McMaster Bujold

Read for the Once Upon a Time X Reading Challenge.

Fiametta is the daughter of a goldsmith in an alternate Renaissance Italy where magic controls many of the arts, including her father’s.   Fiamatta herself is a mage, but her father has not trained her – as a daughter, her abilities will eventually be lost to him through her marriage.

Still, Fiametta has studied on her own, and is still a pupil of her father’s art – the story opens with him allowing her to cast her first gold ring.    Unknown to him, she also puts a little spell into it – one that will come into play later the story.

Thur is a miner in the Swiss Alps – his older brother Uri went south, and is the captain of the guards in Fiametta’s town.      Knowing his abilities with metal, Uri has asked Fiametta’s father if Thur could apprentice with him.     Thur is on his way south, and Fiamatta and her father are attending the bridal celebrations of the Duke’s daughter to a neighboring lord, when all hell breaks loose, and that Lord Ferrante assassinates the Duke and seizes power for himself.    Fiamatta and Thur will need to work together to help rescue their home.

I really enjoyed this story- Bujold has a way of making instantly likeable characters.     This is her first fantasy book, and I’ll confess I do like the Chalion books more – but this is a solid outing, and a nice tale of two young people growing up quickly and making their own way.

Nordic Gods and Heroes- Padraic Column

Read for the Once Upon a Time X Reading Challenge.

This is a nicely redone edition of a 1920 Dover compilation (originally entitled The Children of Odin).   It covers the range of Norse mythology – from the creation of the world, Odin’s many adventures, Loki’s many adventures, and Sigurd and the Twilight of the Gods.

If you want a reference so you can figure out who’s talking about who in these myths, or even The Avengers – this book is a great one to have around.

Knitting Notes

The scrappy garter stitch blanket is coming along.     I’ve greatly reduced my worsted weight ends stash.    Since I last checked in, I’ve added the following to the blanket:  Knit Picks Wool of the Andes in Baltic Heather, Shire Heather and Brass Heather colorways, Knitpicks Wool of the Andes Superwash in Columbine,  Knitpicks Wool of the Andes Tweed in Prussian Heather, two natural wool balls my brother had given me, Vista MountainTop in the Peat, Seal and Wolf colorways, Bluemoon Gaea in Corbie, Quince and Co. Lark in Egret, Tess’s Designer Yarns Superwash Merino in Midnight Blue and Ocean Storm, and the Fibre Company Canopy in Yerba Mate.

I’ve also cast on these Traveling Stitch Legwarmers, by Lisa R. Myers, using the Knit Picks Stroll Tweed in Downy Heather that I recently frogged from some knees highs I’d made and only worn once.     This is the kind of pattern I probably should have started with – it’s more fitted, and hopefully something I’ll actually feel like wearing.