Knitting, spinning, pets, food and other thoughts


Various bits …

The latest oops! was having my main monitor (of 2) simply quit working – at least I could switch over to the 2nd one while getting a replacement. So when the new one came we installed it, turned it on, and big surprise! Instead of my usual blue desktop, the “native” factory setting was this (actually I think it was a bit brighter):

Viewsonic’s “native” color setting (!)

So I foraged around in the Users Guide (on a CD, of course) and figured out how to tone it down to this:

The desktop/color I’m used to – much less in-your-face.

Due to the heat and nearly total lack of rain, I’ve moved all the planters around to the north side of the house where they get more shade and are easier to water. This guy has moved into a pot that originally had a dill plant in it.

Something unexpected.

I love this salvia (salvia Coccinea), as do the hummers – it’s so much airier than the usual one. Fortunately it reseeds itself vigorously, as I’ve rarely seen the plants or seeds – it always pops up in my potted plants, and will even survive and sometimes bloom inside over the winter.

My favorite salvia.

Couldn’t resist this picture the other day after I’d watered – unfortunately the blossoms didn’t last long, but it had another 5 blooms 🙂

Prairie Sunrise.

There’s been an unexpected visitor on the hummer feeders on the deck the last couple of days – this downy woodpecker has been taking sips from the larger feeder, but he’s shy, so I couldn’t get a really good photo.

Downy woodpecker.

It’s time for Knitting Camp again, so I’ll be taking off next week – can’t wait to see everyone!



Less & more.

There’s a lot less of our walnut tree today than there was yesterday, but we’re hoping this will improve its chances of survival. The construction project certainly didn’t help, and then getting hit with such a hot, dry summer made it even worse.

Walnut tree: Before.

The tree guy was here bright and early this morning:

He trimmed it back to live wood, plus he took a fallen branch off the deck roof for us. Now we water and hope:

Walnut tree: After.

Things are much cheerier in the garden. Most of the tomatoes have set, one is starting to turn color, new bean plants are coming up (replanted after rabbit-proofing the fence!), and there are a few cucumbers and zucchini in the wings.

Brandywine tomato.


Round zucchini

And for a spot of color, the native tall bellflower – I love the color!

Tall bellflower.



This was taken the other day, but there hasn’t been much improvement – the digital thermometer said 105 when I looked a few minutes ago. Apart from getting out first thing to “play” in the garden a bit, it’s hard to get motivated to do very much beyond the essentials. It’s supposed to get better tomorrow, then the current forecast calls for highs in the upper 80’s through the week, which sounds wonderful right now 😉

Given the heat and almost total lack of rain, the garden’s doing remarkably well. We’ve had 3 nice pickings (each a meal for 2) from the first bean row, but the 2nd planting was practically cleaned out by the rabbits. We’ve since added a ring of 24″ high chicken wire around the fence, which seems to have solved that problem, so I’ll plant more, as soon as my seed order comes.

I think all the tomato plants have at least a few tomatoes, but I’d never grown grape tomatoes before, so the size of the bunches surprised me. These are yellow Riesentraube (an heirloom variety).

Grape tomato: Riesentraube.

The okra isn’t up to full speed yet, but when it gets there, I’m hoping for enough that we can pickle some.

Okra: Clemson Spineless.

And there has been some knitting – notice the curly strand (upper left)? I’ve only got 1 ball, and forgot to weigh it, so sailed right on past half and had to back up. Guess it’s going to be a shorter scarf than I’d envisioned, since the alternative would be to rip it all out and start over with 3 pattern repeats instead of 4 😦