Garden Notes


The original plan was to at least start on the leaves in the yard this weekend. They’re not terrible yet, but they’ve definitely started.

However, it rained heavily both Friday and Saturday, and I am not a glutton for punishment. So they’ve got a reprieve for at least a week.


In other news, I found the drip line in the side garden. It’s been conspicuously absent for most of this year.

I do have some mulch in the garage, and once everything dies back completely, I plan to put that out. We also have some old stones from the old fish tanks, and were considering lining the drip line with those.


I also badly need to trim the rose – it’s definitely encroaching on the first floor windows.    Fortunately, that’s all year old wood, so the rose won’t miss it next year.


Sewing Notes


To go along with the baby blanket (and the box full of other assorted swag I’ll be sending to CA shortly), I completed two gift bags, in this cute fabric.    It doesn’t necessarily go with the color scheme of the blanket, but I really liked the fabric, so I decided I don’t care.

Knitting Notes


Pattern: Vivid by tincanknits
Yarn: Valley Yarns Huntington in the Harvest Orange, Bluestone, Mustard, Red, Blue and Sunset colorways
Needles: Size 5 DPNs

My gift for baby B (due in about a month) is done! I really enjoyed this pattern- working in squares ending up being the perfect thing for this summer, since it was so darn hot! I can’t imagine I would have enjoyed working on a full blanket in those conditions.

I’m also happy to report I now completely have the pinhole cast on down, because if doing that 36 times doesn’t do that, nothing will. I wouldn’t have minded being able to get five squares out of each color, but there wasn’t enough yarn. Fortunately, blocking seems to have solved what initially looked like it would be too small.

The yarn is great – good workhorse, nice colors. I would definitely consider it again for projects where a variety of color selection was important.

RIP XI Reading Challenge – 9/1/16 to 10/31/16


With the last book finished, I can safely say I’m done with RIP for the year. I read:

I’d settled on Peril the Second, which was only two books in the challenge categories, and managed to make it up to a third.

Her Fearful Symmetry – Audrey Niffenegger

bf18af069cc200b59354f585941434f414f4141Read for the RIP XI Reading Challenge.

Edie and Elspeth were twins, but something tore them apart. Edie moved to America, while Elspeth stayed in London. Edie ended up having twins of her own – Julia and Valentina. And when Elspeth dies, it’s Julia and Valentina she leaves her flat to – with the stipulation that they must live there for a year before they sell it, and their parents are not allowed to set foot there.

And so Julia and Valentina, who have never left the United States, find themselves in their flat in London, which backs onto Highgate Cemetery, where a number of notable Victorians (as well as their aunt) are buried. The girls have always done everything together – but this a new world, with neighbors like Robert, who does tours of the cemetery, and was Elspeth’s lover, and Martin, who composes crossword puzzles, but has such crippling OCD that he never leaves his flat.

I really liked Niffenegger’s previous book The Time Traveler’s Wife. It was a very much a slow burn, where bits and pieces of the story dribble in until you finally have the full picture. This book was very much like that, and there were parts I very much enjoyed, like the atmosphere in that flats, and the neighboring cemetery. And I liked Julia’s interactions with Martin – whose wife has just left him because she can no longer live the way he forces them to. He has an open invitation to join her in Amsterdam, if he can only leave the flat.

What I didn’t like was the end. I won’t go into it, because it makes no sense without the build up, but it was not the way that story should have ended, and it didn’t even really end. I found myself very grumpy at the end of it.

Foxglove Summer – Ben Aaronovitch

b7e25b27e3c5161596c56686a67434f414f4141Two girls have been abducted in the Hereford countryside. When this happens, the office of the Metropolitan Police in charge of supernatural situations (aka the Folly) always follows up with the local magic practitioners, just to make sure they’re not involved. Which is how PC Peter Grant finds himself in the country. Once there, it’s all hands on deck, and Peter offers his services. Which turns out to be a very good thing, because there ends up being supernatural involvement.

I really enjoyed this book. It’s the first one in the series not set in London, and it’s nice to see the differences. (Like the River Teme and her family – very different than the two families of the River Thames.) It’s also a bit of an interlude, much needed I think after the rather serious ending to the previous book. It sounds like the action around the main thread of the story should be picking up quite seriously in the next book, so it was nice to see some down time. There were also some interesting hints at what kind of powers the river gods really have. I’m definitely excited to see what’s coming next. This is my favorite series in years.

Appendix to the I Hate to Cook Book – Peg Bracken



I have this book from Goodwill – my mother had found it for me, and presented it along with the original. It’s a hoot. So very 60s. Like, I had no idea MSG had a brand name (Ac’cent). And good lord did America have bland palettes back then.

I also love that though this is clearly for the woman who’s some kind of anti-house wife (because she hates to cook), she’s still a house wife. I think she might even have a job out of the house, but the assumptions of life in this book are hilarious. I didn’t read it so much for the cooking as for the history survey.

What really cracks me up is that these books were reissued for a 50th anniversary edition. I mean, her writing style is a hoot. I enjoyed reading both books for that reason. But lord, I hope no one’s still making any of the recipes in either book.