Finally, some rain.

Like I said in my previous post, it's been super dry and hot here.  Yesterday we got lucky and things cooled off early.  Yay, for being able to open the windows before midnight!  We also got rain off and on all night.  It's now starting to rain again, which is brilliant.  First because, you know, cooler weather.  Second, because I don't have to water.  My container garden needs watering every day.  The tomatoes get a gallon of water each, most days.  The jalapeno, not so much, but it still needs watering.

Then there is the little yard out front that while there's no grass, still needs watering for the lilies and the bushes and the two sad trees.  One was dead on top, so last week I sawed the top half off.  The other one is an evergreen, that is mostly red.  If it were my tree (we rent), I'd have cut it down by now.

Of course, as I watch it hail and absolutely pour down on my plants, I am a wee bit worried for them.  I would normally pull them inside but I opened the door and got a face full of water, so hey, you're outdoor plants, deal with the rain.... And 2 of the tomato plants are over 5 feet tall, so not easy to move.  Strangely, the two tall plants are not the same type of tomato.  The one to the left is an Early Girl, which has multiple fruit on the vine, the other two are Big Beef plants.  The jalapeno is finally about to flower!

And I do like the rain, now that the hail has stopped. Plus, it's Colorado, so I give it a few more minutes and the storm  will move on.  And then the humidity will come back, haha.  We're not supposed to be humid, we're in a high desert climate.  But today the Midwest was way less humid than we were.  What's up with that??

And on that note, I'm going to go open all the windows again, watch some ghosty shows on YouTube and knit on my newest sock, Black Roses for Morticia.


Summer is officially here. It's even damned hot here in the foothills. Unlike a lot of the west though, we've been lucky *knock wood* We've had two small wildfires started by lightening, but both were contained the same night. Which was good, because we're tinder dry right now, after having a nice wet spring.

The good news is, my tomato plants are loving it and are flowering madly, with a few baby tomatoes on one already. The jalapeno, well, it's not as happy this year. I think we went right from too cool to too hot for it. It comes inside in the afternoon, as soon as the temp hits close to 90°.

As for me, as a result of the warm weather, the knitting has slowed down. Who wants to knit wooly things in 95° F weather? (Although I did just ball up a skein of yarn for a new pair of socks, and I also just finished another blanket square) So I've been spending a lot of my time reading. I am pretty well hooked on Cozy (though I hate the term) mysteries, as can be seen on my book blog, Give Me a Book. I have had a great time with NetGalley, getting books and reviewing them.

Sadly, this genre is being hit by major cuts. The genre is glutted. I mean, you name a subject, there's a cozy mystery based around it. Like popcorn? Yep, there's a popcorn shop mystery series. Cheese? Yeah, there was one of those too. Knitting, soap and candle making, crochet, paper making, scrapbooking, tea shops, gluten free bakeries, spice shops, the list goes on. Ever looked in the mystery section at your local bookstore? You're spoilt for choice! And even I can't read everything, haha. I certainly can afford to buy everything.

And a lot of those books are "Write for Hire," meaning that the publisher comes up with the basic idea, and the writer just fleshes it out in to a full-fledged book. So when the publisher says, "no thank you, we don't want any more" there's nothing the author can do. The author in fact, usually doesn't even write the books under their own name, think Carolyn Keene and Kathryn Kenny, of Nancy Drew and Trixie Belden fame.

No matter what, it means that some of our favorite mystery series have to go. Many contracts weren't renewed, with little to no notice, so we'll never see closure for some of these series. That makes me sad.

So I am doing my little part, asking my library to purchase the books I can't get, posting reviews on my book blog and Goodreads. Meanwhile, I've read some great books lately. And a few not so great as well, but those are few and far between.

Another star gone too soon

As I was sitting at the computer this morning, I noticed a headline about a body at Prince's Paisley Park residence, but didn't think much of it.  Then Isabel walked over to the other computer a few minutes later and the headline had changed.  "Prince found dead at Paisley Park, age 57" and I wanted to cry.  Another loss so soon in 2016.  It's been a tough year.  First Lemmy, then Bowie and shortly after, Alan Rickman.  Now Prince.  My childhood is dying, and it makes me so very sad.

Dearly beloved
We are gathered here today
To get through this thing called life
Electric word life 
It means forever and that's a mighty long time
But I'm here to tell you
There's something else
The after world 
A world of never ending happiness
You can always see the sun, day or night

Spring, in the Rockies

It's April, the table garden is growing so my plants will have a jump start when it's time to put them out around the end of May.  We have a relatively short growing season here, so they start early indoors.  I just have to harden them off again before I start leaving them out all day.  I went for 3 tomato plants and a jalapeno.  All full size, indeterminate tomatoes this year, so I'm not entirely sure how well they will do in containers.

I think this year I need to dig out some old sheets to cover them with, because they're going to quickly get too tall to bring indoors when the weather gets bad. The good news is, I think the pots should be heavy enough this year that even once they are at full height, the wind won't knock them over so easily as it did with the small pots last year.

And see, this weekend's weather report is exactly why they don't go outside yet, even though Mother Nature has been giving us solid 70°F temps during the day for several weeks.  Yep, Mother Nature is having one last (we hope) tryst with Jack Frost this weekend, giving us rain, snow, ice and pure yuck.  We're being told to expect 10"-16" by Sunday morning.  It will also be a heavy, wet snow, which means it'll be a pain in the rear to shovel, so if you have an older neighbor, be kind and shovel for them!

The Teen and I will be running to the library and grocery store after school today, stocking up so we don't have to go out.  We'll just settle in and enjoy a quiet weekend (and hubby and I are on weekend #2 of crappy colds, so we don't really want to do anything anyway.  Today's the first day I've actually had the energy to even think about going anywhere, haha).

And maybe, I will finish the thumb on my first mitten this weekend.  That's the plan, anyway.  That and some Hulu and lots of reading.

Sewing, for knitting needles

the front
The front
I made my daughter a bag for all of her knitting stuff.  It doesn't fit in her locker very well, so she won't use it :(  So since I had a bit of material left and quite a bit of interfacing, I decided to make her a needle roll for her DPNs and her little circular needle.  I bought another yard of the polka dot fabric and measured out 29", then folded the material.  I lined half of the material (what would be the inside of the roll) with iron on fleece interfacing.  Then I took a piece of coordinating pink fabric and cut it to 15"x 7" and lined it as well.  I pinned that to the bottom of the inside piece, and marking lines every 1.5" or so, I sewed little pockets for needles, leaving the edges open for now and the middle unstitched, as well.

Then I cut another piece of the polka dot fabric 15" x 5.5" , lined it and lined it up on the front of the pink pocket.  I then flipped the right sides together and sewed around the entire thing with a 1/4" seam, leaving a three inch gap at the top right so I could pull everything right-side out again, poking out the corners as I went.  I then top-stitched from the top edge down to the top of the pocket to close up the hole.

The backside
Then I sewed down the middle of both pockets, finishing the taller pockets and making two larger pockets for her circs, scissors, etc.

I sewed a piece of ribbon to the right side of the back of the roll, about an inch from the top of the taller pocket, and then sewed a decorative button to hide the stitching and add some fun.   The top portion folds down over the needles, roll it up, tie up the ribbon and viola!  Home for all her DPNs.
The inside
The inside

This picture shows the colors off much better, way more true than the pictures of the outside, in case y'all were wondering.  ;)

So very sad

I didn't know them, but that doesn't mean they didn't enhance my life somehow.  When Lemmy died, I was sad, I love Motorhead, and I loved the straight talking Lemmy.

When David Bowie died, a piece of my childhood died as well.  I grew up with the 80s Bowie, suit and tie, pop music.  As I got older I discovered older Bowie, in his Ziggy Stardust years.  He was brilliant.

But I have to say, it's the death of Alan Rickman that nearly has me in tears.  I adored him as the evil Hans Gruber in Die Hard, the nasty Sheriff of Nottingham in Robin Hood and as the delightfully dead pan Alexander Dane in Galaxy Quest.  I even loved him in Dogma as Metatron and the tempted, fallen Harry in Love, Actually.  And from the moment I saw him on screen as Snape, that was it.  Snape was my favorite character in Harry Potter (and darn you WB, for cutting so much of Snape out of The Prisoner of Azkaban!).

His voice, his smile, even his glare, made me smile and shiver.  He was the one man left on my "list," he just got better looking as he got older.  The world will be a much duller place with out Alan Rickman.

Knitting makes things a little better

This is my daughter and her high school Knitting Club.  They knitted hats and donated them to cancer patients at McKee Cancer Center.  They're pretty awesome kids!