Much Celebrating, No Crafting

Last week we got notice that Mr. Ink’s step daughter would be getting married. So yesterday we took the afternoon off to head out to her town to witness her courthouse marriage, just a year and two days after they were legally allowed to do so. It felt fitting.

While secretly we think these young women are just that…a little young, we are in the position of being able to just support them in any way possible, and love them wholeheartedly, knowing that we don’t get to choose their life path for them. So, a huge congrats to them, and we wish them the absolute best.

I have not met the ex family, beyond Mr. Ink’s step kids. And they’ve really no reason to call me family. So, I repeatedly stepped out of family pictures, only to be told that I was family, full stop, and was to get back in the photos. Very very kind reception from a family that hasn’t any obligation to it. With an additional dose of commendations by the family for Mr. Ink’s part in the kids’ lives.

I’ve absolutely lucked out with his step kids, in the sense that both of them are young people¬†I really enjoy spending time around. His step son has a sense of humor and way of detailing the absurdities of life that absolutely matches mine. His step daughter is one of the kindest and most helpful people I’ve ever met, just absolute sweetness, even when trying to come across as tough.

We got additional news that afternoon. The girls will be moving to our city very shortly, so we’ll get to see more of them. And, Mr. Ink’s step son is to become a father. Cue many jokes on my part about Mr. Ink’s upcoming “granddad” status.

One more goofy bonus picture the family wanted, a mockery of so many of the wedding photos seen online these days.

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After the wedding, we headed back to the city to prepare for our “bike formal.” A large group of our friends get all dressed up and ride around the city in bowties and dresses, with various stops along the way. After such an eventful afternoon, it seemed fitting to celebrate all evening.

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Outside a historic downtown building, waiting to go celebrate on the roof.

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And then champagne on the roof! We had a great night, and a LATE night. It doesn’t seem possible it’s only Wednesday. We’ve had at least a weeks worth of news and events in just one day. Hopefully once we get to the weekend, we’ll have the opportunity to decompress a bit!

 

Plying

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I got my errands done, and got an opportunity to do some plying! I love a good traditional 3 ply. And this bump was fun since it was basically two colors, turquoise and hot pink. Where the two colors met, there’d be a nice deep purple.

I divided the braid into 3 parts, then stripped each part very thin. I didn’t try to make colors line up or anything, I just 3 plied and let everything land as it was spun. It makes for a nice tonal yarn. There’ll be pinker tones, and purpler tones, and bluer tones, and turquoiser tones, but there is very little total pink or total turquoise.

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I finished it! It’s pretty lightweight, I got 505 yards of 3 ply. And it is VERY pretty! I really love it. I am eager to see what it wants to become.

Mr. Ink and I went to a plant rescue in the morning. They will take our divided plants and sell them, raising money for local libraries and schools. They also get in donations from greenhouses. What is there is in pretty rough shape, but Mr. Ink and I are always purchasing rough looking plants just to bring them back to life. I got two flats of petunias, an already bloomed yellow asiatic lily, a hanging basket of osteospermum, and another osteospermum, for a grand total of $5! I went home, deadheaded everything, cut it back to an appropriate place, and replanted them. Then I went and dug up some more day lilies, which are in my car so I can enjoy a return trip later today.

We also did a bunch of digging in the yard again. My view has changed yet again, as has the ease of mowing in the backyard.

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3 new trees have been planted by Mr. Ink. And yes, those stakes aren’t straight. And yes, they are meant to be that way, he doesn’t like straight trees. Eventually there will be a garden in that area, and he’s claimed it as “his.” A garden area that I don’t mess with, but he gets to plan. He’s already purchased a balloon flower, which is stunning, and laid claim to the allium bulbs I ordered and am waiting to plant in the fall.

I also repotted my begonia tubers into lighter soil so that the cheapo shepherd’s hook would work for me. I was certain the squirrels had done away with those tubers, but apparently not. I was also surprised to see signs of life. They might make it anyhow. At least a few of them. Once I noticed that, I couldn’t resist digging into the side of the pot with the caladium bulbs. I saw roots, so I left them be. Sometimes waiting is hard to do! But with my dahlias having made such a startlingly quick appearance, I guess I had this wishful thinking that the other two would be just as fast.

That’s about it for today, have a great week everyone!

The Birth of a Rose

My new rose officially bloomed for the first time. These photos are about 12 hours difference:

I was hoping these blooms would have a little more peach on the edges, but they are more of a cream color than anything else. I told Mr. Ink “It’s beautiful, but it’s not the rose I was looking for. I am afraid you are in for a lot more roses in your future.” He said “Well, I don’t really mind, as long as they are different colors.” So, with that approval, I’ll continue to hunt down my most perfect rose. I certainly do not regret this addition though!

Additional garden news, there are 6 dahlias out of 10 planted that are showing signs of life. Still no begonias or caladium. Those may be a lost cause. They were an experiment anyhow. My miniature rose is blooming, it should show quite a few new blooms shortly. I am looking forward to seeing it’s cheery yellow blooms all over the plant. And, there are more day lilies that I’ve never seen before! This one is about the size of a half dollar right now.

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So diminutive, so beautiful. I’ve also found another kind of tall yellow day lily, but it wasn’t blooming this morning so I didn’t get a photo.

In knitting, I have been plugging away at my dangling conversation shawl. I was running out of beads. I looked everywhere locally for more beads, but could not find them. So, I headed to the all knowing internet. I typed in the exact brand, size, and color. They popped up, I paid too much for them, and had them sent to me. Only to find out that they were NOT the same color as what I had. They are far blacker, much less blue. No matter, I am entering into a section of black and they’ll have to do.

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I don’t know that I’ll have beads for the bind off, but I don’t mind too much. And I am certainly not going to order another set!

We are back to the relentless heat again around here, mornings are not spent outdoors except for the morning garden tour. I got a 35 mile hilly bike ride in yesterday morning, and ended up walking in my house about 2 minutes before a drenching rain that lasted maybe 5 minutes, if that. I guess I would have managed ok even if I was still on the bike. It was great to get a nice long bike ride in, and even greater because I went with a friend who rides at a very similar pace as I do, rather than spending that 35 miles trying to keep up with Mr. Ink. I ended the day feeling like I genuinely could have ridden my bike all day long.

Today it’s an errands day. I am hoping that it doesn’t take ALL day! I’ve got some nice plying to do and it would be fun to do enough to take a few photos of that!

Cool Mornings

We’ve had another two cool mornings! TWO! It’s been wonderful. And I am off work today, so I got to truly enjoy this one. I’d show you pictures, but it would look like I was just reposting the last picture of patio spinning, because I am working on the same project, and it all looks the same. But progress is being made, I can show you two finished bobbins of singles instead.

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One more bobbin to go, and then I’ll be plying a traditional 3 ply. It’ll be pretty lightweight, those singles are thin.

I have today off in order to spend a little time with Miss Bug before she heads to her dad’s, and then off to camp. She is still sleeping though, naturally, since she’s headed into that age that stays up later and sleeps in longer. So I am getting laundry done in order to have clean clothes to pack for camp. Later we’ll be enjoying a pancake breakfast, and then getting a load of rocks for the garden. And packing. There will be packing.

Because I had today off to do all the things necessary for packing, we got to spend some time in the woods yesterday. It was only 87F, so we headed out for a little mountain biking. It’s been about a month since our last ride, and the ride where I fell pretty hard. I divide mountain biking falls into 3 categories. Normal falls, which happen regularly, leave you a bit bruised, maybe scratched up, but ok to continue riding. Then there’s the more serious falls, leaving you injured and you’d probably do best taking a break. And then there’s the ones that require medical intervention. Thankfully, I have never had the latter, and I hope that I am a careful enough personality to never have that kind of fall. But, the last fall was absolutely the middle kind, and I can still feel the problem a month later, which slowed me down toward the end of the ride, and shook my confidence a little. But no matter, I took my time, and used the ride to put my brain, legs, and lungs into a situation where they had to work together properly again. It was a good ride, and I only had one “normal” fall, which was entirely because I was being too careful.

In the garden, which we haven’t been working on too hard, things are changing despite us. You may remember the rose I planted earlier this year, so full of potential? If you didn’t, here’s the picture:

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Now let me show it to you, we have a bud!

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It’s probably going to make it!

I’ve got dahlias beginning to come up, there are two out of 10 that I can see growth coming out of the ground. That’s great, since I really only planted them about a week ago. No signs of begonias or caladium yet. But, I was more invested in the dahlias anyhow, the begonias and caladium were more an experiment.

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AND, there’s been another day lily surprise! I have seen some smaller yellow blooms, but I don’t think this HUGE yellow bloom appeared at all last year! Naturally, I am thrilled to be enjoying day lilies that are not the traditional orange tall blooms, since that’s what is so overgrown in our yard.

That’s about it from me. We’ve got a nice busy weekend planned, and a child free week after that. I am pretty sure it’s going to stay busy!

Another Blissful Morning

Last evening was nice and hot again, I wasn’t wrong in how fast that heat would return. We ran our errands, and visited Mr. Ink’s mom, and went out to dinner. That was a nice break from yard work. Upon our return, it was time to water, and then I basically fell in bed exhausted. That heat REALLY can take it out of you!

But this morning, with the wind, was about the same as indoors, so after my garden tour, my morning looked like this:

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I grabbed my knitting and my beads and my coffee and sat outdoors. I got to enjoy a lovely half hour before I had to get off my bum and head to work. I couldn’t have enjoyed it more.

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I am through an eyelet row, and into the brown portion of the shawl, and as you can see I’ll be working my way into a brighter blue post haste!

 

A Solstice Breather

Yesterday morning I woke up, looked at the weather, and saw that it was only supposed to get to 87F that day. So, I went outside for my morning garden tour, but it was humid and absolutely disgusting. And I said to Mr. Ink that I did not believe the weather one bit.

During the day, a line of storms rolled through. They didn’t really hit us, we got just a tiny bit of rain, but it did bring in some cooler weather. By the time Mr. Ink got home, it was 75F, cooler than the start of the day, and not humid. We had planned to visit his mother and run some errands, but I begged to stay home to mow in the far more comfortable weather. We didn’t stop yardwork until 9:30 p.m. Dinner was late. And fast. And postponing errands to work in the yard was a lovely solstice breather to the unrelenting heat. Don’t worry, I’ll continue to complain about the heat, it’s supposed to ramp back up again today.

I may not be loving the heat, but you know what is? My Cannas! I just love the way they grow, the huge paddle shaped leaves curled up and then unfurling with so much potential! I swear, I’ve never met a flower easier to grow. (Despite the fussiness of taking them out of the ground and storing them in the fall.)

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I planted a bunch of them this year, and their numbers have probably doubled from what I started with. It’s wild! They love the fence line, they care not one bit about being in really cruddy dirt, and if I water them, they double in size it seems. Eventually we’ll get all the way around to them with the garden project, but for now they are doing JUST FINE as they are.

The break in heat provided me with a tiny bit of this:

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Patio spin time! Mr. Ink decided to work on yanking out some paper mulberries, and I took the opportunity to first really clean off the patio, sweeping it well and rearranging, and then bring out my wheel. It wasn’t lengthy but it was lovely!

And, finally, a knitting picture. I did start that dangling conversation pattern out of a loop handspun skein. It has beads, and I was able to stash dive for them. They are large, as my yarn is a worsted weight yarn, and I don’t actually have enough to finish. So, on the list of errands I need to manage tonight is a trip to a store to get more beads.

img_4406You can see that I am now working my way into some brown. I am enjoying this easy, comfortable knit!

Garden progress.

It was another miserably hot weekend around here, completely¬†unrelenting. Which is absolutely the theme of this year. Despite this, Mr. Ink seemed to be motivated to work on the garden wall again. As I saw him out there digging up sod, I realized that the sod digging was a bit of business that I could actually help with while he worked on placing rocks. So, I told him to outline me an area I could dig, and then I got to work. Thankfully, we had some unexpected rain the night before, soaking the ground enough to make sod digging a little less miserable than it could be. And, after I’d dug up some very nice rectangles of sod that he could place elsewhere in the yard, he decided I was far better at it than he was, and he’d continue on the rocks if I’d continue on the sod. Not surprising, as destroying things is always easier for me than building them. Our garden now has a wall, a border, a little more area for plants, and it’s ready for the next step.

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It needs to head up toward those day lilies I planted just to keep them for the season, and then take a hard left to the fenceline. That’s a ton of sod digging. Thankfully, it’s supposed to rain this week.

Also of note, see those two hanging baskets up there? I purchased them because they are lighter and smaller than the last set, so I was assuming that they’d work for the shepherd’s hook that was sorta cheap. They had been working, until we got rain. And then? Well, that hook bowed just as bad as before. Mr. Ink says he’s going to make me some even lighter dirt, and we’ll see if that works. If it doesn’t? I have half a mind to take it back to the store and ask them what they are thinking, selling a shepherd’s hook for two baskets that has NO WAY of working for two baskets. (This is a pattern, I’ve gotten quite surly lately. Mr. Ink says it’s because I am almost 40, and getting surly is a pleasant result of ageing. He may be right.)

This weekend I got smart, and planned in some down time. We decided to drive out to a state park not too far away, a park that has a pretty decent water park area. We took Miss Bug’s friend, as we’d made the mistake last year of just taking her, and she didn’t allow us one moment of downtime. This year was much improved, we didn’t see the girls all that often, they checked in with us from time to time, and then off they’d go together having a great time. Despite applications of spf50 every hour, I am quite burned. Basically, with my skin, if I plan to be outdoors, it’s all about mitigating disaster, rather than keeping from burning. After swimming for quite some time, we had a picnic lunch, then back in the pool for about an hour, then headed home. The trip home, after a day of two girls swimming like crazy:

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Very quiet, eyes hardly even open.

In the garden itself, we’ve got a new beauty opened, another lily.

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It’s one of my favorites, it’s such a rich hot pink color! And, I brought these petunias back from the brink of disaster. I’d planted them in our sedum bed, which, as it turns out, has very very poor soil. I guess now I know why only sedum is planted there. These lovely petunias came so very close to dying, but I transplanted them to Coco’s tree once I added the edgers, better soil, and mulch. They are coming along quite well now!

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There’s another I saved, I had to cut it all back off to the ground, but it has sprouted a new piece of greenery now. I don’t know what it’s color is, so I am waiting to see the first flower. And another two I had to cut back to the ground that may just be dead. We’ll see!