Sunday, June 30, 2013

Riding The Wave

I'm just resigned to the fact that my needlework crafting skills are limited.  Any project requiring shaping or tailoring does not inspire me and, in fact, I work really hard to avoid starting those projects.  I think I'm so highly motivated to fail that I just can't start the project.

Inspiration is found with ripple and chevron patterns.  So I bought some yarn (the first in a long time) and cast on this long-admired zig-zag blanket.  I'm zooming through the project but I'm not sure of the color blocking yet so there are no pictures for the blog.  I will knit more rows before I photograph as the colors are laid out in a really random design and I'm not sure a photo of it at this point will give a good impression.  I'm really hoping that the more I knit, the more pleasing it will be to the eye.

Lucky for me, Mr. Grumpbump has an affinity for plants because I'm terrible at keeping those things alive.  As a result, we have cultivated a mini-jungle on our pool patio.

South end of pool 
There is a palm in the garden area, along with a bunch of lantana.  I hate the lantana but it grows really well and Mr. Grumpbump keeps it nicely shaped.  In the pots is dieffenbachia (this is the plant from my grandmother's funeral) and Brazilian red hots.

Directly behind house
These are the two hibiscus plants that came with the house.  They are extremely hardy plants.  On the right is our new pot with a dwarf palm in it and the plant on the left of the fountain area is the start of our Japanese boxwoods.  We planted those the first year we were in the house and they took a while to start growing, but they are doing fine now.

North side
 This is the continuation of the boxwoods in the garden area.  In pots from right to left is a gardenia tree, a norfolk pine (we inherited it from my mom), a flowering ginger, more Brazilian red hots, crotons and in the very left corner, a lagerstroemia (commonly known as a crepe myrtle).

Close up of Flowering Ginger plant

Close up of dwarf palm
We also had a yellow hibiscus in a pot but it was growing like crazy so we transplanted it to the side of our house.  I believe at some point we will be transplanting the norfolk pine, the crepe myrtle and possibly the gardenia.   We really don't have a lot of actual yard to plant anything and we are saving room for the possibility of getting a southern magnolia tree.  I love those trees so much and admire them in other people's landscaping.  My mother told me that for my birthday she wanted to gift me the tree.  Therefore, I really need to conserve the front yard for a premium spot for my tree.

Kitten update.  Monkey is over 4 months old now.  She's a spaz and so entertaining.  Macy likes her (to a point) and Delilah hates her (completely).   I will have to post some videos of her harassment of Delilah and her playing with Mace.

Our Monkey Girl

Saturday, June 15, 2013

It Doesn't Take Much Time

I lost my knitting mojo for a few weeks, skipping two meetings of my Tuesday night knitting group.  I had no projects going (well, ones I was confident enough in to bring to a meeting).  I managed to knit the back half of a cat pillow, which is shaped like a crescent moon, and started the front seven triangles that will make up the front half.  However, that project looks like Frankenstein's monster knitted it.  The seams are exposed (I was practicing invisible seaming - guess I got an F on that) and it looks like a distracted three-year put the colors together.  That project is definitely for my eyes only.

I tried and failed to start several projects, small ones so that I could feel accomplished quickly and get over my slump.  I wanted to knit so badly, but I could not focus on any one pattern and have enough energy to go find some suitable yarn and needles.  I had knitting depression.

Adding to my distractions was the Monkey Cat.  She's so big now - long and lean.

Adding a cat to a household does mean a one-to-one ratio for increased duties and clean up.  Monkey has seemingly doubled my chores.  Much more poop to scoop.  I have tripled the litter boxes around the house to accommodate this kitten.  That's not the only clean up Monkey requires - she loves to drag in leaves, sticks and mulch from the patio into the house.  Mr. Grumpbump and I are constantly asking each other, "What's in her mouth?" because it could be one of the above or it could be a lizard or gecko.  We save about half of the creatures she brings inside.

There is no question in my mind (maybe not so to Mr. Grumpbump) but I made the right decision in adopting the Monkey.

Finding My Treasure

Now that my shawl is complete (yarn purchased during the Orange Blossom Yarn Crawl in March), it is just hanging out in my foyer until I de...