Garden Notes

This is the time of year where it doesn’t seem like much is going on – you can definitely tell where the winter shady bits of the yard are, by the lingering snowpack.

But I actually do have a few things going on – I did my first round of planting last week. (In the picture of which you can see this year’s seedling experiment – capillary matting.) And the garlic survived the winter outside, and is up!


Laudholm Farm – Wells, ME

I’ve found a new go to for my annual trip to find skunk cabbage – the Laird-Norton trail at Laudholm, where it splits from the Barrier Beach trail and runs along the upper edge of the salt marsh, is absolutely covered in skunk cabbage. We realized this last year, when we were there when they had leafed out, but not gone dormant yet. So when I needed to make a relatively quick trip, due to impending snow (because it’s March in Maine, and we’ll look for spring and winter on the same day), I thought of Laudholm. And it did not disappoint. It’s not the springiest of weather up here yet, but slowly and surely, it’s coming.

Knitting Notes

Sticking with my use up yarn theme, I’ve started on some mini Newfoundland mittens, specifically to use up the Lana Plantae Rambouillet Fingering Cochineal & Madder yarn. I have a fair amount of it, and it seems a shame to use it just on hexipuffs. I may have to come back and make this post a retroactive finished post – I’ve started a mini hat pattern as well – I just want some variety to use up this yarn. So we’ll see how many of these I end up making, or if I just do a whole variety of little things.

Alcatraz vs. the Evil Librarians – Brandon Sanderson

This is a fun book – it’s a middle reader, so goes by pretty fast.

The conceit is that Brandon Sanderson is the name a young man named Alcatraz is using to get his story out to those of us in the lands the Librarians are in charge of. They’re in an evil conspiracy to hide the rest of the magical world from us, you see. The action is completely preposterous, as it really should be for an adventure story for this age group. I would have enjoyed this thoroughly when I was that age.

Knitting Notes

The Swans Island Ikat Watercolors is no more – I’ve kicked the skein. This one took a while. It’s light fingering, so it just kept on going as I tried more things to use it up. I felt oddly accomplished when I completed the last hexipuff.

Soul Taken – Patricia Briggs

It really sucks getting on the bad side of any of the big bads of this world. This particular book features some particularly nasty vampire infighting, with some rather serious implications for everyone else in the area (of course).

This does seem like a bit of a placeholder story – nothing is particularly new, just variations on some things we’ve seen before. It really feels like the set up to a chess match – certain identities are revealed, powers are clarified, and things then seem to simmer back down to normal. I do hope this is setting up something epic.

Jolene – Mercedes Lackey

I enjoyed this book a lot, partially for reasons outside of the actual story. First – I love that to move the Elemental Masters series into America, the author decided to use national treasure Dolly Parton as inspiration, and that she dedicated the book to Ruth Bader Ginsburg. The second is that I work with several people that live in Soddy-Daisy, Tennessee (one of my company’s main campuses is in Chattanooga). I always thought it was a curiously named town, and it turns out, it was once two different towns, and Soddy was a Company town. You learn something every day.

Story-wise, I enjoyed this. Anna lives with her parents in Soddy – she’s always been sickly. Knowing what this series is about, I immediately figured she must be pretty strong in Earth-based powers, and having the mine nearby was poisoning her. Her mother has an older sister that’s been trying to get Anna to come to live with her for years, and when Anna’s father’s health starts to precipitously decline, he finally agrees to send her away. (There was no love lost between her father and Aunt Jinny.)

Jinny is a witchy-woman who’s living in a holler outside another mine town, but far enough away from the effects of the mine. She quickly realizes the extent of Anna’s power, and starts to train her. There are also neighbors about, including a local farm with an interesting eldest son, and the mysterious Jolene, who appears where she wills, and may or may not be Anna’s friend.

I really liked who Jolene actually is, and how that worked into the story. This is a quiet book – the action feels a little formulaic to bring about the set up that you’d expect, since this is based on a rather famous song. But I really appreciate the setting, and I think it fits well into this larger series.

Knitting Notes

In case it’s not obvious from previous posts, I’m very much in a “it’s a new year and I need to finish up everything outstanding and use up all the yarn” mood. The above is everything from February I did that used up yarn, but didn’t make a completed project. Long term blanket projects for the win!