Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Gardening & Knitting

I just can't help myself. As soon as the daylight stays around long enough and the weather warms up, I gotta go dig in the dirt. No, I'm past the days of making mudpies and I don't mound it up to pitch balls from, it's all about the flowers. Beautiful (I hope) flowers. Pink flowers. Oh, they can be white, blue, purple, and yellow too, but it's really all about the *pink* flowers. The other flowers and foilage only serve to enhance the beauty of the pink flowers.

In bloom right now are some very large pink tulips plus some nice fuschia tulips. The pink hyacinths are fading but the bleeding hearts (dicentra spectabilis) are coming on strong in the shade garden. Being a frugal gardener, I prefer to buy small potted perennials as they cost less and grow just as fast as their costlier big pot neighbors. the exception is if the big pot plant is such that it can be divided so the beauty can be spread around. I started out with one bleeding heart and this morning I had four. Tonight I have 7 plants after digging up one poor performer. No wonder it wasn't thriving as it was being choked out by fat roots from the tulip popular tree! Add a little insect trouble and voila--sad bleeding heart. But tonight that little beauty is now 3 plants relocated to the new shade garden that has lots of compost & manure enriched soil. Just add water and smile! It's a beautiful thing.

I would have continued in the garden but my allergies were so fierce that I finally had to retreat inside. Tree pollen is the biggest culprit, but the grass & mold are bad too. Even Allegra and (horror!) a face mask couldn't win against this stuff. My poor immune system has been on the rage. The worst was on Easter Sunday while sitting in church. Some dear sister walked in late (later than I was even) and sat across the aisle from me. Her perfume was so strong it went into a full blown allergic crisis--red swollen face, burning eyes and difficulty breathing. I had not taken any allergy meds that morning, so I was defenseless. I moved to the far end of the pew and used a linen hanky as a face mask to help with breathing. It was just enough to get me through the service (I didn't want to miss Daddy singing in the choir and my dear friend Bro. Clark giving the Easter sermon). Then I had to hurry home and take Benadryl as the reaction was so bad nothing else would do. I don't know why people have to wear that wicked garbage to church. I mean I like a nice light fragrance, but the stuff some people douse themselves in even oxygen can't resuscitate the rest of us to have to breathe it. The only thing worse is cigarette/cigar smoke.

Now that I've wheezed on, I guess I should talk a little about knitting. I just finished my 8th repeat on the leaf lace shawl. I'm pretty bored with it and the rows are getting terribly long, but I'm using the pi shawl KAL as motivation to get this one finished ASAP. The LLS is simple knitting so I work on it when I'm tired from working in the garden and need a break or at night while watching (also boring) tv. The biggest challenge is trying to get most of the dirt out from under my fingernails before picking up the knitting. I promise I do wear gloves when I'm digging in the dirt and I wash my hands thoroughly afterwards--but you'd never know it by looking at my nails! I wound another skein of the sunrise into a ball last night. I'm pretty sure I'm gonna redo the start to my pi shawl. Everytime I look at it that little loop of extra yarn on the first row just screams at me. I know I won't be able to stand it so I'll probably reknit it tomorrow. That way I'll be all ready when the 2nd clue is posted on Friday. Oh boy!

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