Gardening woes.

I’ve been waiting…and waiting…and waiting… for the emergence of seedlings, leaves, flowers, and fruits in some cases and now I’m waiting for the tomatoes to turn color. I noticed from afar today that one or two of them started to turn orange-ish! Yay for that!

After our walk with Jackson, we went over to my little garden to check it out. And I noticed bits of brown hexagonal shaped turds…. Then I saw lots (okay, one, then I saw two, then I saw another, and another – maybe 5 total) of these “little” buggers:


A little googling turns up that they are Tomato Hornworms. Does this make me a really gardner?

Does it make me less of a science person to be simultaneously disgusted and impressed by them? Their camouflage is amazing! (also, check out What’s That Bug? for more interesting caterpillars! We got rid of them all (hopefully) before I could think that I should have gotten the camera!

This site also has some interesting information – they exist in a parasitic relationship with wasps!

I had been hoping that maybe I would find out that they were



I received a great box from my one skein pal:

Thank you soooooo much! I adore the Flair pens – I use them all the time in school because the colors are great! The button assortment has now sent my button box to overflowing status! And rub-ons! I haven’t seen these since I was a kid! Love them! Last, but certainly not least, the yarn! Araucania Pehuen – beautiful berries! Thank you very much!!

And then, I also received a great July Colorswap from Kim, thewoolenrabbit!
Check out the nifty purple box! Go US Post Office!

So many purple goodies – starting with Moose Smooch and a Moose magnet!

Lavender soap!


Gorgeous yarn (so soft!!) and a beautiful pattern for a lacy scarf!

Lemon Ginger tea witih the cutest heart tea strainer! Can’t wait to try this!

And bath goodies!

Kim was a great swap buddy! Thank you again!

Children’s Books

There have been several posts ’round the blogs about books you read when you were younger – brings back some great memories. And then this morning I started googling….I have a very dear place in my heart forever for the following:
Charlotte’s Web
Made me believe that spiders are special and the the animals can talk! I read this book over and over and over and over again! Did you know there’s a new movie in the works?! The trailer almost makes me teary! Julia Roberts as Charlotte is perfect!

I also read and reread the Little House on the Prairie set – my set has yellow covers, and I think there’s only 7 books, not 9. Either way. I think those are the books with the pages that are so soft to the touch and yellowed.

This book, Starring Sally J. Freedman as Herself was my first introduction to World War II books. (This lead to my reading and rereading of Anne Frank: Diary of a Young Girl) I loved all the Judy Blume books I read! Need to reread them.

I also was big into Trixie Belden. Not by choice initially though. My Mom thought Nancy Drew was too advanced for me. I was always a good reader and read above level… so I read all the Trixie Belden books that the library had and then was allowed to read the Nancy Drew series.

Other fond favorites from my childhood: Bread and Jam for Frances, If you give Mouse a Cookie, Bridge to Terabithia, The Borrowers, any of the Roald Dahl books, Shel Silverstein’s books, Where the Wild Things Are,Amelia Bedelia, Goodnight Moon (who didn’t have this book? It’s the first book I remember!), my dad used to read me stories from theBrothers Grimm. Gosh there are just so many wonderful books!

Now that I’m a teacher, I have some new favorites –
Miss Nelson is Missing (if only for the evil Miss Viola Swamp! I constantly think: Viola Swamp is not amused when the kids act up!).
I use Diary of a Worm in my science class – the kids (7th graders) really get a kick out of it! (Look, finger puppets!) And I do use Diary of a Spider as well, but prefer the worm. I am also highly amused by Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! – worth a look though – you’ll be laughing very hard!!

Good site for some children’s book illustrations: Kidstamps.com

(As I write this, 9 to 5 is on tv – what a great movie!)

Favorite Color Swap Questions

Favorite Color Swap Questionnaire

1. What are your top three favorite colors? Green – Blue – Purple (their order here is no indication of preference!)

2. What crafts do you really enjoy? Knitting mainly. I dabble in stickers, gardening, photography, cross-stitch, sewing and am planning to teach myself crochet.

3. What products do you really covet? I am really into neat bags and organization lately in a futile attempt to bring calm to the chaos of my craft room now that I can see it seeping to all over the house. I don’t intentionally want to drive my husband crazy! If you peruse through my posts I do make mention of things I covet.

4. What other activities do you enjoy besides your favorite crafty things? spending time with my hubby, playing with my dog Jackson, gardening, reading, trying to be better about being earth-friendly, cooking

5. Is there anything you collect? I used to, but have tried to put an end to it as it got a bit out of control. Stickers are great because they don’t take up much space!

6. What is your zodiac sign and/or Chinese zodiac symbol? Gemini, Year of the Horse (1978)

7.What are your favorite…

…scents/smells? citrus-y, clean cotton-y, light florals

…types of music and/or bands? that ranges quite a bit depending on my mood! The only exception would really be country, I don’t listen to much of that.

…authors? I really like Laurie Notaro and Jen Weiner, Judy Blume, Agatha Christie…. I’m open

…animals? dogs, frogs, snails, owls,

…places to shop? I love Target!, amazon.com, and I love perusing etsy and handmade style webshops (like Sewingstars.com – or the stores that contribute to The Sampler)

…season? summer, fall, winter / spring – they all have their own reasons

…yarn/fabric/paper/other craft supplies? Love Noro, Koigu, Schaeffer, and have just started trying out the knitpicks line. Most crafty things I enjoy!

…candies or goodies? I have a major sweet tooth for sugar based (rather than chocolate, but there is a time for that too!) – jelly beans / mike & ikes / rock candy / spree are some of my favorites.

8. Do you have any wish lists? I do have a wishlist on amazon.com

9. Are you allergic to anything? smoke has a tendency to bother me, but it’s mild

10. Do you have any pets? What are they? Jackson, a 1-yr old mini-dachshund

11. Please include anything else you would like your secret pal to know about you- anything that would be helpful in finding you little gifts that you will really enjoy. I think that you can get a pretty good idea about me through my blog, and I’m open to surprises! I love email and regular mail – look forward to hearing from you!

Books & Movies (post the 4th)

After this I’m done!
So this weekend we finally went to see Pirates: Dead Man’s Chest Fun, fun, fun! I think that when it’s all done it will make a great trilogy. I did like the first one better, but enjoyed the effects and antics! And it has Bill Nighy! Who I really enjoy – and he was great in Girl in the Cafe – it had some of the awkwardness of Lost in Translation, but yet it’s own different turn. I enjoyed it quite a bit.

Bookwise I finished My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult – excellent! Very very heart wrenching.

Craft Room (Post the 3rd)

I’ve been trying to bring more order to my craft room. Why would I bother – I’m the only one in there! I want to be able to leave the door open, not to hide the chaos. Although it does help keep Jackson away from the yarns. Anyway, there is some progress being made!
(Before, view from the door)

(Before, view from the windows)

(Before, view from the closet)

I dug up a whole bunch of UFOs!

There’s a clapotis, flower facecloth, cardigan, pocketbook, scarf in that pile!
And then I found stuff I couldn’t recall starting! I don’t know what this was supposed to be:

Somewhat of an “After” photo – the room is the ultimate work-in-progress, at least you can sit in the chair!

Jackson (Post the 2nd)

Jackson likes to hide in the laundry right out of the dryer:

Here’s a close up if you can’t find him – look in the lower right corner, above the green blanket:

And the pupper has a new harness, from ezydog.com – looks like a little gladiator plate:

And though I didn’t get a picture of it, my dog (a mini-dachshund!!) was able to work at The General (A Starfish) for little more than 3 weeks before he got the stuffing out!! We do have a round disc as well that is also a Tuffie and I would get him more of those in the future. Still can’t believe he tore it up! In the meantime, he’s got a Frog Crackler that is holding his attention well enough for the time being. And a new tennis ball toy that he got as part of a swap-bot.com swap.

Now he’s on his side sleeping, just like a real dog!
Still have to finish his sweater…

Gardening (Post the 1st)

I can’t find the “Before” picture of my garden / raised beds… I set it up around Memorial Day this year and transplanted my seeds outside. As of this past week, this is what I can see:
The driveway curves down alongside the right of the photo, Jackson is there (not really for scale as he’s so small anyway!). This is one of the beds. You can see the Kong Hybrid Sunflower and the Elf Hybrid Sunflowers.

In this next photo, you can see both beds (say if you were standing in the driveway). The bed on the left has the 2 varieties of sunflowers, baby watermelon (down low behind the kong sunflowers) and peppers (behind the sunflowers). The bed on the right has tomatoes, cucumbers, assorted butterfly / hummingbird flowers, and had carrots but I already harvested those.

Patience is difficult thing for a gardener (and a knitter sometimes) – I’m chomping at the bit for the tomatoes to turn red!!

Things I’m thinking about blogging about

* Package from a Secret Pal (my one skein pal, I think!) – photo
* Find the Dog – photo
* Craft room chaos – photo – (before & “After”)
* Uncovered UFOs from Craft room chaos – photo
* The Girl in the Cafe movie
* My Sister’s Keeper book
* Other crafts…
* Dachshund destructor of toys

But you know, the weather. Yesterday was too hot to do much of anything. The dog was sick last night following the extensive lightning / thunderstorm we had. In a word I’m tired. Skipped pilates class twice this week. I should have done yoga.

It’s still the weekend!

Almost unbelievably – the past few days have felt like I’ve already been through Saturday and Sunday! Vacation is so very nice! Thursday / Friday we were in New York City to see my brother do his stand-up comedy with SuperEgo at Parkside Lounge – you can see the bit he did at his blog, here – I’m quite proud of him and though I may be biased, he brought the crowd and did the best job 🙂 Aside from this guy Morty that rapped (5 pages worth) about proper grammar and cliches.

Today we’re waiting now for friends to come over for a cookout.

I tried knitting the rpm socks (summer knitty) but apparently can’t count. It just wasn’t working and I could barely cast-on. Bugger.

And this weekend is supposed to be a hot one. Keep an eye on children, the elderly, and your pets!

Is your dog cool?

How funny – Sudogku!